The US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council was greeted as a catastrophe. But Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, insisted that America was not abdicating a leading human rights role in the world, and said that if the institution reformed, the US would consider rejoining it. But the invective launched against it by her and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cut a pretty mean set of words.
For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias. Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded. Human rights abusers continue to serve on and be elected to the council.
Ms Haley also mentioned that Israel should not be a consistent, permanent agenda point of discussion. Allies of the US, such as the UK, also find this disproportionate and have campaigned against this. But even together, over the course of the last year, they've not been successful at seeking sufficient consensus to reform this.
The US then went its own way and tried to bring a motion at the General Assembly that would delete the provision about Israel and that would change the ability for countries to become members - make it much harder. She hasn't managed to get those things through, not least because at the same time, the US was making Jerusalem the capital of Israel, a subject that the UN General Assembly feels very strongly about. So she had very little luck gaining any support among the General Assembly for those reforms, even though there is wider support for some of her criticism.
Ultimately, however, many of these like-minded countries were unwilling to seriously challenge the status quo.
And of course, it's worth remembering that these charges from the US come the day after the UN Human Rights commissioner accused the US of unconscionable acts, separating children and parents at the Mexico border. The UN secretary-general himself said he would have much preferred the US to stay in, and many of the US allies are lamenting another blow to the western alliance.
In doing so, 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 organisation that makes a mockery of human rights.
Nikki Haley insists that in her role at the UN Security Council she can continue pushing for her human rights agenda on Syria, on Iran, on Israel. But it remains to be seen exactly what will happen to this body as a result of US withdrawal.