Item 10 General Debate on Technical Assistance & Cooperation
Statement of the United States of America
As delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper
U.S. Representative to the Human Rights Council
32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council
June 30, 2016
Thank you Mr. Vice President.
The United States encourages governments facing human rights challenges to allow for the establishment of OHCHR country offices to help them address those challenges.
While Cambodia has had an OHCHR office for many years, we are deeply concerned by recent investigations, arrests, and detentions of civil society representatives and political figures. We urge the government to end these actions, ensure that the judiciary works as an unbiased arbiter of Cambodia’s laws in accordance with international human rights law, and engage in meaningful dialogue with the political opposition to reach a peaceful resolution to the current situation.
We commend Tunisia, where the government has worked closely with OHCHR on many issues of great importance, including the holding of free and fair elections and in reforming their constitution.
Colombia has taken bold efforts to create a just and lasting peace through its peace negotiations with the FARC. We strongly encourage the government to extend OHCHR’s mandate, without changes, into the next administration, in order to best serve the victims of the conflict and the Colombian people.
We congratulate Honduras for opening an OHCHR office in 2015. We hope a Chief is chosen as soon as possible.
We urge the office to work to protect human rights defenders, many of whom live under threat, as seen by the March 2016 murder of Berta Caceres, as well as important work on training security and justice sector officials.
We look forward to working with the new Government of Burma to address the human rights issues outlined in the High Commissioner’s report and to have discussions regarding the opening of an OHCHR office, which would honor the previous government’s commitments.