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U.S. Joins Consensus on Human Rights Council Resolution on Extreme Poverty
June 26, 2014

Explanation of Position: A/HRC/26/L.10 on Extreme Poverty
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
UN Human Rights Council – 26th Session

As Delivery by Stephen Townley

Geneva, June 26, 2014

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States is pleased to join consensus again on the resolution “Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.”

We thank the co-sponsors for taking the lead on this resolution, which highlights the important issue of extreme poverty in all countries of the world, regardless of their economic, social, or cultural situation.

The United States has had a long-standing commitment to international development, and has put substantial resources behind that pledge.

As we noted when we joined consensus on the Human Rights Council resolution on extreme poverty on September 27, 2012, as well as the UN General Assembly Resolution on extreme poverty in 2012, we believe the Guiding Principles on extreme poverty and human rights, as referenced in this current resolution, articulate many useful guidelines for consideration by States in the formulation and implementation of poverty reduction and eradication programs, as appropriate.

However, the United States would also like to recall that the Principles were adopted “as a useful tool for States” to consider in the formulation of poverty reduction and eradication strategies; therefore, not all aspects of the Principles may be appropriate for implementation in all circumstances.

We further reiterate our concern delivered on that date that the Guiding Principles include interpretations of human rights law with which we disagree.

As such, we happily join consensus on this resolution today with the express understanding that it does not imply that States must become parties to instruments to which they have not acceded or implement obligations under human rights instruments to which they are not a party.

By joining this resolution, we do not recognize any change in the current state of treaty or customary international law.

We also understand the resolution’s reaffirmation of prior documents to apply to those who affirmed them initially.

The United States looks forward to continue working with our fellow Member States in the global effort towards the elimination of poverty.

Thank you.