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U.S. Deeply Troubled by HRC’s Disproportionate Focus on Israel
Explanation of Vote by the United States of America Resolution: “Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Syria
March 22, 2012

Delivered by Charles O. Blaha

UN Human Rights Council – 19th Session
Geneva, Switzerland

The United States continues to be deeply troubled by this Council’s biased and disproportionate focus on Israel, which is highlighted by the Council’s consideration today of this resolution on the Golan Heights, a resolution put forth by the Syrian regime while it murders its own citizens in the streets.  Council members’ adoption of this resolution risks undercutting the important work the Council is doing in other situations.  It undermines our common work to bring to an end the real and serious crisis in Syria, one where more than 8,000 people have died at the hands of their own government.  That is a real human rights crisis, while the situation for Syrian citizens in the Golan is in no way equivalent.

Let me be clear that the United States’ opposition to this resolution is not an endorsement of the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights, which the United States does not recognize.  We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, including in the occupied Golan Heights.

We remain committed to achieving a real, lasting peace in the Middle East, including a permanent peace agreement between Israel and Syria.  In light of our overarching goals and the efforts we have devoted to peacemaking and stability in the Middle East, we are deeply troubled to be presented with another one-sided resolution at the Human Rights Council that does nothing to further the goals of achieving peace and stability in the region.  For these reasons, we call for a vote on this resolution, and we urge our fellow Members to join us in voting no.