Standing with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Haley slammed Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting U.S. efforts to reform the council.
She also criticized countries which shared U.S. values and encouraged Washington to remain but “were unwilling to seriously challenge the status quo.”
“I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from human rights commitments, on the contrary, we take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” said Haley, who was speaking from the State Department in Washington D.C.
Last week activists and diplomats said talks with the United States over how to reform the main U.N. rights body had failed to meet Washington’s demands, suggesting that the Trump administration would quit.
The United States is half-way through a three-year term on the 47-member body. Any suspension or withdrawal would be the latest U.S. rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal.
It would also come as the United States faces intense criticism for detaining children separated from their immigrant parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein on Monday called on Washington to halt its “unconscionable” policy.