Ambassador King Speaks With Reporters at HRC Special Session on Cote d’Ivoire

Ambassador Betty King Speaks with Reporters After Special Session on Cote d'Ivoire
Ambassador Betty King Speaks with Reporters After Special Session on Cote d’Ivoire

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Transcript of press availability:

Ambassador Betty E. King

U.S. Permanent Representative to the
United Nations in Geneva

Press Availability

December 23, 2010

Ambassador King: I just wanted to say that this morning the Human Rights Council sent a unified and unambiguous message to the people in Cote d’Ivoire, and that message says that the violence, the killings, the abuses must end and must end immediately.

The second thing I would like to say is that this morning’s meeting shows that the Human Rights Council can respond in real time to real crises.  We were very pleased not only with the large numbers of ambassadors and high level delegates that participated, but also the fact that this occurred when most people are concentrating on leaving town for their holidays.  The fact that they’re all there shows how seriously we take this.

I think finally I want to say that the international community has sent a message to those in Cote d’Ivoire who use violence as a means to achieve their objectives that this will not be tolerated.

Those are the three points I wanted to make.  Thank you.

Question: The United States government has been discussing an increase [inaudible] or possible increase of [inaudible] troops stationed in Cote d’Ivoire.  How far has this discussion process gone to this point?  And what could these additional troops possibly achieve?

Ambassador King: That question I want to leave to my counterpart Susan Rice in New York because she deals, as you know, with the Security Council and those issues are dealt with there, not here in Geneva.

We wanted here to focus on the human rights violations.

Question: Then in this case, everybody, every delegation here has been calling for an end to the violation of human rights.  What can you possibly achieve?  If everybody is in favor, you just ask them to stop?

Ambassador King: I think the unified message that comes out of this chamber this morning will do a lot to put a lot more pressure on the forces in Cote d’Ivoire that the world community is expecting the violence to end.

Question: [Inaudible – Question on whether the Ambassador from Cote d’Ivoire had been expected to make statement]

Ambassador King: We were not waiting for a statement.  We had heard ahead of time that he would be here, but will not speak.  So we were not surprised.

Question: Ambassador, several human rights groups said they expect today [inaudible] message [inaudible] in terms of a resolution and there’s a feeling that maybe the resolution [inaudible] is not strong enough.  How do you feel about [inaudible]?

Ambassador King: I don’t want to speak about a resolution before it has been negotiated.  As we speak somewhere downstairs in this building the discussions and negotiations are going on about that resolution.  So let us not prejudge the outcome of that.

Question: Do you support the use of force to restore the law and order?  Because we heard that many parties are asking [inaudible] by using force.  There’s no way —

Ambassador King: I want to reiterate my response, that in Geneva we don’t discuss a use of force.  All of those questions need to be directed to New York.

Question: In fact we have to wait until the end of the negotiation from [inaudible] speech, but this [inaudible] resolution that we have now is the consequence of [inaudible].  There is in fact intention behind this unanimity of the states here.

Ambassador King: I don’t detect any tension at all.  Of course I’m not in the negotiations, but all my colleagues to whom I’ve spoken, all the other ambassadors, have been in unanimous agreement that we need a good resolution coming out of this.  I would want to await the final document before we make any comment on it.

Thank you.