The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2010
The United States applauds the United Nations Human Rights Council’s establishment today of the first-ever UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of assembly and association. The United States co-sponsored the resolution creating this mechanism with a broad cross-regional group of 62 countries, including original co-sponsors the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Lithuania, the Maldives, Mexico and Nigeria.
President Obama said last week at the UN General Assembly in New York that the “arc of human progress has been shaped by individuals with the freedom to assemble,” and he urged the international community “to embrace and effectively monitor norms that advance the rights of civil society and guarantee its expansion within and across borders.” Passage of this resolution delivers on that call to action and reflects the universal recognition that promotion of human rights is a moral and pragmatic necessity. The new Special Rapporteur will be a strong, independent and credible voice to highlight the growing threats to assembly, association and civil society, while developing best practices for the protections of those rights.