CAPE TOWN, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The South African government on Thursday expressed regret at the U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), saying the move goes against multilateralism.
"This development is indeed worrisome and goes against the letter and spirit of multilateralism and the Charter of the United Nations, of which the U.S. was one of the founding countries," the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said in a statement.
The United States on Tuesday announced its withdrawal from the UNHRC, saying the council had failed to conduct the "major, dramatic and systematic changes" required by the United States.
The latest decision by the U.S. follows a series of withdrawals from key multilateral bodies, including binding decisions and the concomitant withholding of funding to these bodies.
"South Africa believes that it is important for all members of the UN to remain fully committed to multilateral processes," DIRCO spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said.
South Africa recognizes that the world is increasingly interconnected, and with this understanding in mind, the withdrawal of any member of the UN from the bodies created by the institution is cause for concern, he said.
The challenges facing the global community are such that solutions can only be found in working together, said Mabaya.
Paramount among these challenges are the constant struggles for the eradication of global poverty and underdevelopment in the context of the realisation of the right to development, the promotion, protection and fulfilment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the realization of the right to self-determination and statehood for those peoples who remain subjugated and living under foreign occupation, according to Mabaya.
The South African government has always emphasized that the UNHRC should address human rights situations in a fair and balanced manner, and that any allegation or perceived instance of politicization, double standards, and selective targeting of specific situations must be addressed within the framework of the UN General Assembly Resolution 150/251 which gave effect to the establishment of the UNHRC, Mabaya added.
The South African government reaffirms its commitment to the UNHRC and will continue to defend its mandate as the principal organ of the UN for the promotion and protection of human rights in the world, he said.