Right to Development Resolution
Explanation of Vote by the United States
The 16th Session of the UN Human Rights Council,
March 25, 2011
We do not object to the panel discussion called for by this resolution. However, we remain deeply concerned that much of this Council’s work of in the area of the right to development does not address practical measures that assist countries in determining how to best develop resources in a way that promotes and protects the human rights of their citizens. For this reason, among others, we will call a vote on this resolution, and will abstain.
The United States has a long-standing commitment to international development. Fostering development has been a cornerstone of our international engagement since the Second World War, with the result that we are the largest bilateral donor of overseas development assistance. In the last 65 years the United States has given hundreds of billions of dollars in assistance. Last September, President Obama announced the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, which elevated development to a core pillar of American power and charted a course for development, diplomacy and defense to mutually reinforce and complement one another in an integrated comprehensive approach to national security.
So let there be no doubt: We are committed to development, and we have put substantial resources behind that commitment. We encourage all countries to invest in a better future for their citizens by pursuing an approach to development that respects human rights, involves local stakeholders, promotes transparency and accountability, and builds the institutions that underpin sustainable democracy.
We closely monitor the Working Group on the Right to Development and will continue to do so. We are focused on seeking ways to improve the mechanisms that promote human-rights centered development and contribute to the eradication of poverty around the world. We look forward to continuing our engagement on this vital issue, but we are unable to fully support this resolution.