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U.S. Does Not Believe HRC Should Instruct the OHCHR on Administrative Matters
March 26, 2015

Item 2: Resolution Entitled “Composition of staff of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,” A/HRC/28/L.13

Explanation of Vote by the Delegation of the United States of America

Human Rights Council 28th Session

Geneva, March 26, 2015


The United States strongly supports the principle that the paramount consideration in the employment of UN staff is securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. We do not believe the Human Rights Council should instruct the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on administrative matters such as staffing.

This year, this resolution is even more concerning than in past years. This resolution’s endorsement and attempt to implement recommendations from the recent report of the Joint Inspection Unit is inappropriate. Recommendations contained in the report would impinge on the independence of the High Commissioner and his Office if carried out. We affirm and reiterate that the High Commissioner and his Office are indivisible. We also reinforce that their unique mission of promoting respect for human rights in all states makes it especially important that Member States have a limited role in overseeing the management and administration of this office.

We question in particular why this resolution takes note with appreciation of the Joint Inspection Unit Report, but only takes note of the Secretary-General’s response to the report. [We also question the referral of this report to the United Nations General Assembly.]

UN Member States are best served by a High Commissioner’s Office that is objective, independent, and that reports to the UN Secretary General, not to the UN Human Rights Council. For these reasons, among others, we vote NO on this resolution.