Universal Periodic Review Process
Agenda Item Six General Debate
Statement by the Delegation of the United States
Human Rights Council, Geneva
Statement delivered by John Mariz
March 19, 2010
Thank you, Mr. President.
The United States believes that the words and ideas expressed in resolution 60/251 that established the UPR process should be faithfully carried out by every State under Review, as we are firmly committed to doing when we come under review in November.
For this reason, we are concerned by the manner in which the delegation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea approached yesterday’s adoption, and wish to associate ourselves fully with the relevant remarks of the Japanese Ambassador. States under review are entitled to decide which recommendations they accept, which they reject, and of which they take note. However, all states must clearly specify how they have treated each recommendation, and not leave members to wonder which recommendations fall under ill-defined clusters.
We view the DPRK’s non-compliance with this practice as undermining the spirit and intent of the IB package We ask that the Presidency and Secretariat advise the Council on the best way to seek appropriate clarifications, in order to preserve the integrity of the UPR process.
Additionally, we believe the Council, with the assistance of the Secretariat, should draw together best practices regarding recommendations and responses to recommendations that may guide States, particularly States under Review and Troika members, and enhance the UPR process. We also believe the review process should clarify the procedures for UPR report adoption, and we fully associate ourselves with the relevant comments of the Norwegian Ambassador.
The United States believes it should live up to its international human rights obligations, just like any other country. In that spirit, we look forward to our UPR presentation in November. We are currently engaged in the preparations, and our work has been intense. Civil society is an integral part of a functioning democracy and its active participation in our preparations is vital. By the time our preparations our complete, government teams will have participated in public meetings in over ten cities throughout the country Each of these sessions has been organized and run by civil society groups, which are free to raise concerns from their communities.
We have also established a link on the official Department of State website with information about the UPR process and an email address to which anyone can send comments for consideration. We have built on others’ good examples before us. Our aim is to create an open, inclusive, and ongoing process that we hope will lead not only to a successful review for ourselves, but serve as an example that others might follow in their own approach to the UPR.
To conclude, Mr. President, we strongly encourage the Council and countries under review to continue to view the UPR as a means for self-reflection and dialogue.