Accomplishments at the Human Rights Council 20th Session
Office of the Spokesperson
July 7, 2012
The United States is pleased by another successful session of the Human Rights Council, and congratulates member states for their leadership in promoting and protecting human rights during its 20th session. We are pleased by the strong leadership shown within the Africa Group, in particular the delegations of Nigeria, Somalia, and Djibouti, which took the lead in the creation of a special rapporteur on Eritrea. Similarly, we applaud the creation of a special rapporteur on Belarus, a mandate that had been eliminated in 2006 when the United States was not on the Council, but has been reestablished thanks to the leadership of the European Union and U.S. reengagement. In both cases, countries worked to make sure the international community addressed chronic human rights violators in their own regions. The special rapporteurs will make crucial contributions by providing the international community with independent and credible accounts of the human rights situations on the ground.
The Human Rights Council also affirmed unanimously that human rights apply on the Internet just as they do offline, and that all governments must protect those rights regardless of the medium.
The Council also maintained its strong pressure on the Assad regime, adopting its fourth resolution on Syria this year. We are pleased that the Council did not adopt any new resolutions on Israel, which has disproportionately borne the brunt of Council attention.
Finally, the United States presented a resolution on the right to nationality for women and children as a follow up to the Women’s Nationality Initiative announced in Geneva last year. The resolution, which passed by consensus with 49 cosponsors, urges nations to recognize a child’s and a woman’s right to nationality and to grant equal nationality rights to women.