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U.S. Explanation of Position: The Human Rights of Older Persons
October 10, 2012

September 28, 2012

Thank you, Madame President.

The United States places great importance on protecting the rights of older persons. We have sent senior representation from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing in New York. In the conversations in New York, it has become apparent that there is no consensus among the member states on whether there is a normative gap with respect to the rights of older persons.

This resolution notes that older persons face many challenges, and highlights issues that affect older persons, such as abuse and violence.  It does not, however, enumerate any new human rights.  Rather, it stresses the importance of ensuring that older persons enjoy the same human rights as all other persons.

The working group in New York has also taken up the issues that this resolution proposes to address in an inter-sessional meeting. We feel this is duplicative of ongoing work and represents an inefficiency in the United Nations. We are also concerned about the significant budgetary strain this resolution places on OHCHR, and the limited ability of member states to provide increasing amounts of resources to enable OHCHR to perform the substantial amount of work that we have given it.

In closing, we wish to thank the sponsors and other delegations for engaging constructively and with a spirit of compromise during our negotiations.