In response to a letter sent by the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to human rights groups, accusing them of blocking reform at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:
“Following the USA’s showy departure from the Human Rights Council, Nikki Haley’s letter is another sign that the Trump administration prefers confrontation to compromise.
“This letter expresses open hostility towards human rights organizations with different opinions to the United States. As civil society, our job is to hold those in power to account, and refusing to engage with anyone who disagrees with it will leave the Trump administration in a very lonely place.
“Blaming human rights groups for the USA’s regrettable decision ignores the tireless campaigning done by Amnesty International and others to reform the Human Rights Council, including calling for higher membership standards. Glossing over the facts will not help the USA’s standing on the international stage.
“We share many of the concerns the US has highlighted about the Human Rights Council. However, the reforms proposed by the Trump administration would have presented the very states whose membership the US opposes with an opportunity to undermine the Council.
“Going forward, with the commemoration of seventy years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly on our minds, Amnesty International will continue to seek better solutions to challenges in the Council, working together and constructively to strengthen the enjoyment of human rights around the world.”
Amnesty International’s response to US Ambassador Nikki Haley (Letter, 21 June 2018)