All articles from: June, 2009

Statement by President Obama on UN International Day in Support of Torture Victims

Twenty-five years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention Against Torture, and twenty-two years ago this very day, the Convention entered into force. The United States’ leading role in the negotiation of the Convention and its subsequent ratification and implementation enjoyed strong bipartisan support. Today, we join the international community in reaffirming unequivocally the principles behind that Convention, including the core principle that torture is never justified.

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WTO Trade Policy Review of Morocco – U.S. Statement

The United States welcomes the participation of the delegation of Morocco, headed by Minister Maazouz, and including Ambassador Hilale, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco in Geneva, in the government’s fourth Trade Policy Review. We value the work produced by the WTO Secretariat and the government of Morocco. Each of the reports has helped to inform our consideration of Morocco’s trade and investment policies since its last TPR in 2003.

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Remarks by Secretary Clinton on World Refugee Day 2009

Around the world today, millions of people endure war, genocide, famine and natural disasters. Often, they are forced to flee in search of safety, seeking temporary shelter until they can return home and rebuild their lives. But for many refugees and other displaced people, the homes they loved are gone forever.

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U.S. Joins UN Human Rights Council

Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Mark C. Storella and Political Officer

First, Mr. President and other officers of the bureau, please accept the congratulations of the United States on your election. We look forward to working closely with you. We would also take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to Ambassador Martin Umohoibhi for the leadership he so consistently demonstrated during his tenure and the sense of decorum he brought to this hall. Sir, you have been a lion; you have inspired us; during tense times you have leavened our work with humor; and you have even kept the Council on schedule. We thank you.

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U.S. Statement at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body Meeting

• Mr. Chairman, the United States provided a status report in this dispute on June 8, 2009, in accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.

• As noted in that status report, a number of legislative proposals that would implement the DSB’s recommendations and rulings in this dispute have been introduced in the current Congress, which convened in January.

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Explanations of Position on Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children and Human Rights in Sudan

We would like to comment on two resolutions. With respect to resolution L.13 on the Guidelines for Alternative Care of Children, the United States strongly believes in creating healthy, supportive, and safe environments in which children can thrive and grow, particularly those children who lack parental care. We welcome the spirit embodied in the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children and believe that the Guidelines offer useful policy orientations for the protection of children without parental care.

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Item 10 General Debate – Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

The primary objective of the Human Rights Council – and the main criterion by which it is to be judged -is to increase the promotion and protection of human rights around the world. Do people have greater freedom to express their opinions, to assemble peacefully, to criticize their governments, to practice their religion without fear of persecution because of this body’s actions? Are people able to obtain public services and employment opportunities without fear of discrimination?

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Item 10 – Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Haiti

The United States thanks the Independent Expert on Human Rights in Haiti, Mr. Forst, for his report. The United States has a long relationship with Haiti; we understand, as do others, that the human rights and other problems facing Haiti are difficult, but we believe that they can be solved.

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Item 9: Response to the Report of Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene

The United States is pleased to respond to the report of Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene’s mission to the United States of America last year. My government welcomed the Special Rapporteur’s visit and appreciated the opportunity for constructive dialogue. We arranged numerous meetings with various federal government agencies involved in enforcing the nation’s civil rights laws and administering the myriad programs whose goals are the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of respect for civil rights.

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Item 9: Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance

The United States is committed to pursuing the elimination of racial discrimination at home and abroad. The United States has struggled to overcome the legacies of racism, intolerance and the effects of past discriminatory policies and persistent racist beliefs. Today we are a multi-racial and multi-ethnic democracy in which individuals have the right to be protected against discrimination based on race, color or national origin in virtually every aspect of public life.

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