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HRC – Explanation of Position on Social Forum
March 25, 2010

United States Government
Human Rights Council, 13th Session, Geneva
Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thank you, Mr. President. The United States joins consensus on this resolution.

– No nation can escape the impacts of climate change – the security and stability of all nations and their peoples are at risk. The poorest and most vulnerable will suffer the most.

– The U.S. is fully engaged in the fight against climate change. We are taking robust actions at home, including an historic $80 Billion investment in clean energy. We have pursued an unprecedented effort to engage partners around the world in our common struggle.

– We are committed to helping the poorest and most vulnerable adapt to the impacts of climate change, and have increased our assistance to vulnerable countries almost ten-fold in one year. We are seeking to further increase our assistance

– The United States also considers that climate change – as with other societal and natural phenomena – may affect the enjoyment of human rights. Climate protection is an essential and shared goal, and reducing the impacts of climate change can – as noted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – “promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.”

– The United States takes this opportunity to reiterate its view that a “human rights approach,” however, is unlikely to be effective in addressing the complex global challenge of climate change. We believe that climate change can be more appropriately addressed through traditional systems of international cooperation, including through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process.

– We think this is an important point to bear in mind in our dialogue at the upcoming Social Forum and we look forward to a productive discussion in October. Thank you, Mr. President.