UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres regretted the withdrawal of the United States from the world body's Human Rights Council, said his spokesman on Tuesday.
"The secretary-general would have much preferred for the United States to remain in the Human Rights Council," said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, in a note to correspondents. "The UN's Human Rights architecture plays a very important role in the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide."
The remarks came shortly after U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced in Washington that the United States is officially withdrawing from the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.
In Geneva, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein responded that the U.S. withdrawal is "disappointing, if not really surprising."
"Given the state of Human Rights in today's world, the U.S. should be stepping up, not stepping back," Zeid said.