General Statement on International Law Matters

This statement pertains to the following resolutions: Right to Education; Child, Early and Forced Marriage; Violence Against Women; Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; Independence and Impartiality of the Judiciary, Jurors and Assessors, and the Independence of Lawyers; Human Rights and Climate Change; and the Negative Impact of Corruption on the Enjoyment of Human Rights.  This statement supplements points we may have raised separately on these resolutions.

The United States understands that these resolutions do not imply that states must join human rights instruments to which they are not a party, or that they must implement those instruments or any obligations under them.  These resolutions do not change the current state of conventional or customary international law.  The United States understands that any reaffirmation of prior documents in these resolutions applies only to those states that affirmed them initially.  We also underscore that human rights are held and exercised by individuals, not groups.  And while we recognize that development facilitates the enjoyment of all human rights, we reiterate the primary responsibility of states to protect and promote human rights.

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