United States Welcomes Engagement by Human Rights Council on Abuses in DRC

Human Rights Council - Archive Photo
Human Rights Council – Archive Photo

September 27, 2010

The United States welcomes today’s engagement by the Human Rights Council on the issue of the mass rapes that occurred in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between 30 July and 2 August. The United Nations Security Council has clearly recognized the importance of protecting the women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from all forms of violence. Today’s interactive dialogue, with the participation of senior UN officials and UN member states, shows that progress is being made on this issue in the Human Rights Council as well.

Recognizing the importance of the Human Rights Council’s action on this serious issue, Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, U.S. Representative to the Human Rights Council, stated, “Today’s meeting demonstrated that the Council can react to events in real time. The Obama Administration is committed to strengthening international action to stop the atrocious targeting of women and girls in conflict. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an average of 36 women and girls are raped every day. Many of those surviving such vicious attacks – which often involve mutilation – are children, mostly girls. We must do more. We look forward to working with the participants of today’s dialogue and other members of the Council to work to protect women and children from sexual violence, in the DRC and worldwide.”

The United States recognizes and welcomes the important participation in today’s discussion of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navenathem Pillay, and the Secretary General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallstrom, as well as the fact that the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, submitted a written statement.

Speaking at the session, Special Representative Wallstrom said, “We must work to ensure sustained international attention and action.” The United States joined many other delegations in requesting that Special Representative Wallstrom report to the Human Rights Council on her findings and recommendations following her upcoming trip to the DRC.

The United States considers it very important for the Human Rights Council to continue addressing in an effective manner the plight of human rights victims around the globe.