Human Rights Council 2011 Review
Open-ended Working Group
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
At the Adoption of the Working Group report
February 24, 2011
Thank you, Mr. President.
We thank you for your tireless efforts to shepherd us through these long and difficult negotiations. We also thank the five facilitators and coordinator for their efforts.
Mr. President, The United States undertook this process with a view to improving the Council. We started our work here with a number of our own proposals, and with an open mind to hearing those of others. Yet we were met with a process that seemed designed to be a race to the bottom. For much of this process, instead of a genuine give and take on proposals to improve the Council’s work, delegates repeated fixed positions and blocked any opportunity for genuine debate.
As we have said on earlier occasions, we will be judged by the results of this process, by how well we advance the ability of the Council to improve the human rights situation around the world, address violations, and prevent abuses. Reviewing this document, it is clear that we are not closer to these ends than when we began our work. We again take this opportunity to register our continued disappointment with the state of the overall review, and with the document before us today.
We have stated repeatedly that there are a number of issues that the Council should address, among them: membership and greater scrutiny of the human rights records of those countries that offer themselves for election to this body; an increased ability to take on country situations in a variety of formats not limited to resolution work; and the fact that there remains to be one country, Israel, singled out on the agenda of this Council. The Council’s bias against Israel is confirmed at every HRC sitting, and to not deal with it here is to ignore one of the Council’s most egregious flaws.
The current document does not address, or does not adequately address, these and other issues.
We understand that the positions expressed in the negotiations were far apart on many difficult issues, and we understand why this end result is a minimalistic document; however, we believe it is necessary for us to register our lack of support for this final outcome ultimately because we believe the HRC would have been better served by a more robust result.
We ask that this position and our statement be comprehensively reflected and included in the report of this working group.
Thank you, Mr. President.