Ambassador Tichenor Statement at Conclusion of Human Rights Council

U.S. Statement at the Conclusion of the Human Rights Council

Delivered by Ambassador Warren W. Tichenor, Head of Delegation

Geneva, June 19, 2007

Thank you, Mr. President

The United States welcomes you to your new position.

Mr. President, my delegation is deeply concerned by the actions taken over the past 24 hours in this Council. The United States’ understanding of last evening’s events was that the Council would indeed take action, substantive action, on the package today.

We are deeply disappointed that for reasons of political expediency a member’s right to call for a vote or break consensus on the substance of a motion before the Council has been denied.

On the package that is now the basis for the work of the Council, the United States cautions that a biased permanent agenda item on the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the arbitrary elimination of two vital country mandates, Cuba and Belarus, raise serious questions about the institutional priorities of the Human Rights Council, its ability to assess human rights situations in an unbiased fashion, and whether it will take seriously its responsibility to promote and protect human rights around the world.

Mr. President, we sincerely hope that despite the flawed institutional architecture, the Council will rise to meet the challenge of protecting and promoting human rights in all countries.

Thank you, Mr. President.