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Report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and OHCHR Reports on Extreme Poverty and Armed Conflict
June 5, 2009

Human Rights Council 11th Session – Item 2 General Debate
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America Geneva
June 5, 2009

Thank you Mr. President,

We thank the High Commissioner for her report and presentation on situations throughout the globe and her reports on human rights and armed conflict and extreme poverty.
This week and this month in particular, the United States recalls the courage of those who stand to defend and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms; of those who call for transparent and accountable governance; of those who risk their lives and their freedom simply to express their views.

With the upsurge in conflict along the Sudan-Chad border and the cessation of hostilities in Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner’s report on human rights and armed conflict is timely. The United States encourages all countries to grant free, unhindered and full access to the United Nations, ICRC and the international community to internally displaced persons.

We appreciated the High Commissioner’s report on extreme poverty and human rights. We agree that lack of access to education, employment, housing, food, information and justice are issues that societies need to address in order to promote equality and fair treatment. We strongly believe the Office of the High Commissioner ought to focus on best practices and particularly on governmental measures which combat discrimination and promote access for all citizens to basic services.

We take this opportunity to reiterate our firm support for the independence of the Office of the High Commissioner and our belief that the vital advisory services and technical assistance – as well as monitoring – that the OHCHR provides through its numerous field presences, regional offices, and human rights advisers throughout the world need the support of this body and the UN Member States.