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Resolution on Human Rights on the Internet – A Momentous Outcome at the HRC
July 5, 2012

Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe
U.S. Representative to the Human Rights Council

Comments at Press Availability
Following the HRC’s Consensus Adoption of Resolution L13

The Promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet

(Excerpt of Ambassador Donahoe’s Statement from Press Availability with the Ambassadors of Sweden, Brazil, Turkey, Tunisia and Nigeria.)

A woman speaking at a podium as other people look on
Press conference following adoption of the Resolution

I want to just express how happy we are.  The United States is so proud to have these colleagues as friends and leaders from all around the world — from Turkey, Tunisia, Brazil, Nigeria and Sweden on such an important issue.

This outcome is momentous for the Human Rights Council.  It’s the first ever UN resolution affirming that human rights in the digital realm must be protected and promoted to the same extent and with the same commitment as human rights in the physical world.

So in that sense we can all say that human rights in the on-line world are as real as human rights in the off-line world.

President Obama and Secretary Clinton have both put a great emphasis on internet freedom and human rights combined, and this is a really foundational moment for the international community as it builds recognition that internet freedom and human rights on-line must be protected as they are off-line.

I have to emphasize also the numbers.  It was consensus outcome with 85 co-sponsors who signed on to support the text as it was, and 30 of those were members of the Council.

So it’s just a remarkable accomplishment and we have to point also to the phenomenal leadership, particularly by Sweden.  They just were so thoughtful and respectful of all delegations, but very clear on what the outcome should be and they got the job done.  We are really thankful

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