Statement by the Delegation of the United States
Delivered by Courtney Musser
Geneva, September 24, 2009
Thank you, Mr. President.
The United States commends New Zealand for its forthcoming approach during its UPR review in May 2009. New Zealand clearly took care to consider the recommendations submitted during the UPR process. We commend New Zealand for accepting, in whole or in part, most of the recommendations made by the review. New Zealand has made it clear that it intends to consider accession to additional human rights instruments, such as the Optional Protocol on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. New Zealand’s determination to protect the rights of minority and indigenous persons is likewise clear.
As human trafficking is of great concern to the United States, we raised this issue during the review. The United States appreciates that New Zealand is committed to combating human trafficking, and notes that New Zealand has taken action in the past year to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes. We commend New Zealand’s acceptance of the recommendation to record and document cases of trafficking in women and children as well as the exploitation of migrant women and girls in prostitution and to share information on trafficking cases as appropriate within its region. To further the fight against the scourge of trafficking, we strongly urge New Zealand to consider including domestic trafficking crimes within the scope of its anti-trafficking law.
New Zealand has been a key member of the Human Rights Council in its formative years, demonstrating a commitment to promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, to upholding the Council’s mandate to address critical human rights situations globally, and to ensuring that human rights mechanisms are effective and unbiased. New Zealand sets high standards for its own human rights practices; its comprehensive and open approach to the UPR process is to be emulated.