Ambassador Harper: End of Session Statement and Explanation for all HRC31 Resolutions

End of Session Statement/Explanation for all HRC-31 Resolutions

Delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper,
United States Representative to the Human Rights Council

31st Session of the UN Human Rights Council
March 24, 2016
Geneva

The United States strongly supports the new mandate on South Sudan.  The wholesale disregard for human lives and rights has gone on too long, and must stop.  We are pleased the Council adopted  a consensus resolution on North Korean human rights that established a panel of experts to explore appropriate approaches to accountability. The United States strongly supports the new mandate on South Sudan.  The wholesale disregard for human lives and rights has gone on too long, and must stop.  We are pleased the Council adopted  a consensus resolution on North Korean human rights that established a panel of experts to explore appropriate approaches to accountability.

The United States stands firmly with human rights defenders and will continue to defend the right of individuals to protest peacefully.  We are concerned about the tremendous number of amendments to these texts, which were negotiated through open informals.

We regret that Russia continues to politicize the key issue of independence of the judiciary in the resolution on the Integrity of the Judicial System.

We are concerned that the Right to Food resolution refers to the Doha Round of trade negotiations.  The Doha references in no way supersede the WTO Nairobi Ministerial Declaration, which was agreed by all WTO members and which reflects accurately the current status of the issues in those negotiations.

The United States remains deeply troubled with this Council’s stand-alone agenda item directed at Israel and the slate of one-sided resolutions.  Especially disturbing is today’s resolution calling on OHCHR to implement a database of businesses operating in the settlements –wasting enormous resources as evidenced by the PBI, is far outside the mandate of the Human Rights Council, and only serves to highlight the one-sided nature of the Council’s actions on this subject.

We note that Council resolutions do not change the current state of conventional or customary international law nor create new legal obligations.

(end of statement)

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