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U.S. Statement on Issues Regarding Private Security Companies, Military Contractors, and their Accountability
October 1, 2010

EOV by the United States of America

Resolution re: Open-ended intergovernmental working group on the elaboration of a legally binding instrument on the regulation, monitoring, and oversight of the impact of the activities of private military and security companies on the enjoyment of human rights.


UN Human Rights Council—15th Session

Geneva, October 1, 2010

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States takes very seriously issues regarding private security companies, military contractors, and their accountability. The United States believes that the most effective and immediate way of addressing these concerns is through better implementation of existing laws. We have been engaged, alongside industry, civil society, and other governments, in the initiative facilitated by the Swiss Government to draft an international Code of Conduct which aims to commit private security companies to practices and high standards consistent with human rights.

Unfortunately, the resolution ill-advisedly prioritizes consideration of a legally binding instrument when additional law is not what is most needed at this time. We are disappointed that our suggestions—as well as similar suggestions of other members—to adequately address these concerns, were not fully reflected in the final resolution.

I want to reiterate, the United States does acknowledge the importance of the issues regarding PMSCs. We cannot support this resolution for two reasons. First, it takes us down a path that will not produce an effective resolution to those issues, and in so doing diverts valuable time, effort, and resources from a more practical approach. Second, though well-intentioned, the resolution risks creating new issues that have not adequately been appreciated and considered. It could, for example, have an impact on the training and professionalization of national militaries and law enforcement agencies, and on UN peacekeeping efforts.

We remain committed to the principles outlined in the Montreux Document and to pursuing effective, practical approaches to expeditiously address issues related to PMSCs.

We regret that we must call for a vote and vote no.