US leaving UN Human Rights Council -- "a cesspool of political bias".

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The U.N. Human Rights Council called for an end to the policy, prompting Haley to criticize the global body. In addition to concerns about agenda items singling out Israel, the U.S. also wanted more stringent criteria for membership and the ability to kick countries that have egregious human rights records off the council.

It also comes as the United States faces intense criticism for detaining children separated from their immigrant parents at the US-Mexico border.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein on Monday called on Washington to halt its child separation policy.

"The Secretary-General would have much preferred for the United States to remain in the Human Rights Council", Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said in response to the USA announcement.

In March 2011, the UN General Assembly unanimously suspended Libya's membership in the council because of violence against protesters by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"The Trump administration's withdrawal is a sad reflection of its one-dimensional human rights policy: defending Israeli abuses from criticism takes precedence above all else", Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, said.

Either way, the US pullout was bound to have ripple effects for at least two countries at the council: China and Israel.

The council meets three times a year to examine human rights violations worldwide.

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Haley has warned the council past year that the United States would withdraw from the council if changes were not made.

Sheila Gewolb, Senior Vice President of the Board of Deputies said: "We welcome the Foreign Secretary's bold, clear and important intervention at the UN Human Rights Council". Israel's ambassador in Geneva castigated the council for "spreading lies against Israel". Having Cuba and Venezuela as human-rights judges is the equivalent of putting Harvey Weinstein on a commission to promote female empowerment in the workplace.

Although numerous officials have said repeatedly that "America First does not mean America Alone", the administration has retreated from multiple multilateral accords and consensuses since it took office.

Among reforms the United States had pushed for was to make it easier to kick out member states with egregious rights records. In that situation, the US would be able to speak out on rights abuses, but not to vote. It was not immediately clear if the USA would remain a non-voting observer on the council. At the rights council, the United States has recently been the most unabashed critic of rights abuses in China - whose growing economic and diplomatic clout has chastened some other would-be critics, rights advocates say.

Then under President Barack Obama the United States was elected to the body for a maximum two consecutive terms on the council by the UN General Assembly.

Under President Barack Obama the United States was elected for a maximum two consecutive terms on the council by the UN General Assembly.

When the Council was created in 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush's administration shunned the body.

A pullout could be largely symbolic: The United States' current term on the council ends next year, when it could have reverted to the observer status held by other countries that are not members, allowing it to speak out on rights abuses, but not to vote.