Item 1: Decision Adoption – EOV by the United States of America – Right to Development Resolution

UN Human Rights Council – 12th Session
Delivered by Charge Douglas Griffiths

Geneva, October 1, 2009

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States has a longstanding and strong commitment to support development. In fact, we are the world’s largest bilateral donor of overseas development assistance. Our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has repeatedly emphasized that the promotion of development and human security is one of the crucial pillars of our country’s foreign policy.

We reiterate our commitment to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action which stated that democracy, development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. We believe that the creation of conditions favorable to the development of individuals is the primary responsibility of their States, and can be accomplished through good governance and effective and transparent institutions. We also of course believe that international cooperation can assist in this regard. We believe there is still much debate about the right to development and think it is important to try to find common ground on this topic. In this vein we look forward to working with the Working Group and the High Level Task Force. The new U.S. administration is actively re-evaluating its broader views on this issue; however, at this time we do not think it would be appropriate for any criteria related to right to development to evolve into a basis for consideration of an international legal document of a binding nature. We therefore regret that we must call a vote on this resolution and abstain.

Thank you, Mr. President.