MOSCOW — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the United States on Thursday to rethink its decision to pull out of the world’s top human rights body, calling it a “key tool” in efforts to combat abuse.

Washington’s envoy to the United Nations announced the U.S. withdrawal from the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

Nikki Haley accused the Geneva-based council of “chronic bias against Israel” and cited the membership of countries with poor human rights records such as China, Cuba, Venezuela and Congo.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Moscow, Guterres said he “would much prefer for the United States to remain in the Human Rights Council.”

He added: “I do believe that the human rights architecture is a key tool at the present moment in order to promote and to protect human rights around the world.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed a similar view.

“We hope that this decision is not final and that the U.S. will re-establish its commitment to the United Nations,” Lavrov said.