Key U.S. Outcomes at the UN Human Rights Council 29th Session
July 9, 2015
The outcomes of the 29th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva underscored the importance of robust U.S. engagement at the Council, where the United States continues to work with countries from all regions to address urgent human rights concerns worldwide.
South Sudan: To address allegations of severe human rights violations and brutal attacks on civilians in South Sudan, the United States successfully co-led a resolution establishing a human rights reporting mechanism that will shed light on atrocities and assist in promoting accountability and reconciliation.
Ukraine: The HRC passed a Ukrainian-proposed resolution that builds on existing assistance from the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), encourages continued reporting on the human rights challenges Ukraine faces, particularly in Russian-occupied Crimea and separatist-controlled areas of its eastern regions, and calls for OHCHR to brief HRC members regularly on its ongoing Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.
Syria: The United States worked with Turkey, Qatar, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and many other partners to pass a resolution demanding the Syrian regime cooperate fully with the HRC and the Commission of Inquiry. The resolution further condemns the brutal atrocities perpetrated by the Syrian regime and extremist groups in Syria, including the regime’s torture, sexual violence, and use of chlorine gas a chemical weapon, and it emphasizes the need to bring those who carry out these brutal acts to account.
LGBTI: The United States and 70 other countries joined a Colombian-led joint statement expressing concern about continued violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including killings, rape, torture, and criminal sanctions, in every region of the world. The joint statement urged the HRC to address these important human rights issues.
Burma: The United States cosponsored a Pakistan-led resolution condemning the human rights violations and abuses committed against Rohingya and members of other minorities in Burma and asks the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to update the HRC on this issue at its next session.
Women: The United States cosponsored a resolution on eliminating violence against women that focused on domestic violence and included strong language on intimate partner violence and marital rape. The United States also cosponsored a resolution on child, early, and forced marriage, underscoring our view that every marriage should be entered into with free and fully informed consent, along with a resolution on eliminating discrimination against women.
Gaza COI: The United States again opposed the HRC’s biased and one-sided focus on Israel by voting against a resolution welcoming the report of the Gaza Commission of Inquiry. The United States cast the sole “no” vote and delivered a strong statement. The United States continues to oppose all actions taken under agenda item 7, the only standing item dedicated to a single country.