Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council 19th Session
Delivered by Kelly Landry
The United States welcomes the return of the delegation of Zimbabwe to the Council as well as its decision to adopt 81 of the Working Group’s recommendations, including to combat trafficking in persons, to operationalize the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, to combat the scourge of HIV/AIDS, to improve the health and education system, and to strengthen the country’s social safety nets for the general welfare of the people.
We remain deeply concerned about the ongoing lack of human rights protection in Zimbabwe and are disappointed that the government failed to discuss the human rights abuses that persist in spite of the formation of a coalition government.
We strongly urge the Government of Zimbabwe to reconsider many of the recommendations that they declined to support, including our recommendations to fully implement the Global Political Agreement provisions supporting the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee; to repeal or amend the restrictive Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act in accordance with international human rights law; to invite the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other mandate holders to come to Zimbabwe to conduct independent and impartial investigations; and to create stronger mechanisms to ensure greater revenue transparency from diamond mining, demilitarize the diamond industry, and thoroughly investigate cases of beatings and abuse by Government and private security services in the Marange area.
We urge Zimbabwe to reconsider its decision not to support South Africa’s recommendation that Zimbabwe investigate all credible allegations related to the Presidential elections in 2008, particularly in the areas of torture, arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances. We think this is particularly important to prevent a recurrence of political violence in Zimbabwe during the next round of elections.
Finally, we urge the Government to begin an open dialogue with the international community on the challenges enumerated in the report.