Introduction: Resolution on Human Rights in South Sudan
Human Rights Council, 31st Session
United States Delegation, delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper
March 23, 2016
As demonstrated by the OHCHR report issued early this month, the human rights situation in South Sudan is one of the gravest situations we face at the Human Rights Council. Since fighting began in December 2013, many serious human rights violations and abuses have been committed.
As the resolution being introduced today makes clear, there is broad concern at the prevailing violence, widespread sexual and gender based violence, indiscriminate targeting of civilians, attacks on United Nations sites and humanitarian convoys, and heightened restrictions on the exercise of fundamental freedoms.
The Human Rights Council must act in the face of such serious concerns. To this end, this resolution establishes a Commission for Human Rights in South Sudan. As a special procedure dedicated to the situation of human rights in South Sudan, the Commission will monitor and report on human rights. The Commission will provide guidance on transitional justice, accountability and reconciliation issues, as appropriate. The Commission will also engage with other international and regional mechanisms, including the African Union and United Nations Missions in South Sudan, with a view to providing support to efforts to promote accountability for human rights violations and abuses. We appreciate South Sudan’s express agreement to cooperate with this mechanism.
The text in front of you represents the oral revisions that have been circulated on the extranet. These revisions clarify that the mandate will be a Commission, created as a special procedure and appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council after consultation with the Consultative Group. We ask that the process be completed by the June session so that the mandate can be operationalized as soon as possible.
The U.S. Would like to thank the African Group for its constructive approach throughout discussions of this resolution and in particular the leadership of the Ad Group chair, South Africa. We hope this resolution will be adopted by consensus. We encourage all states to support this resolution. Thank you.