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Statements Presenting the Resolution on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association
July 1, 2016

Ambassador Hala Hameed

Permanent Representative | Mission of Maldives to the United Nations in Geneva

Thank you, Mr. President.

I have the honor to present this resolution on behalf of a cross-regional core group consisting of the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Lithuania, the Maldives, Mexico, and the United States, and with the support of 68 co-sponsors.

The freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association allow people to come together, think about a problem together, and propose solutions.  This is so in virtually every sector of society – from the arts to education, health care to science, and the environment to commerce.  Our countries are stronger, more diverse, and richer both economically and culturally when we help people unlock their creativity by respecting and promoting the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association.

Ambassador Keith Harper
U.S. Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council

The principal objective of this resolution is to renew the mandate of the special rapporteur who addresses these important freedoms.

Unfortunately, these freedoms are under increasing threat across the globe. It is more important than ever that we have a mechanism that continues to monitor challenges to the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, and makes recommendations on how better to protect them.  We hope that renewing this mandate will continue to help everyone understand best practices in promoting and protecting these fundamental freedoms.

This resolution also highlights one of the many manifestations of freedom of association –professional associations.  We recognize that professional associations may take different forms in different places.  But in all of our societies, creating, joining, and participating in such associations enables professionals – for example, doctors, lawyers, and engineers – to cooperate, to share experiences, and to address challenges jointly.  The activities of these associations may bring significant benefits not only to their members, but to societies at large.  These are specific examples of the benefits of the rights underscored in this resolution.

Our core group has negotiated in a constructive and open manner. In that spirit, and in the hope of achieving consensus, we have prepared an oral revision which has been circulated.

Thank you, Mr. President.