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U.S. Explanation of Position on the Right to Adequate Housing
March 24, 2017

Adequate Housing – A/HRC/34/L.12

Explanation of Position by the United States of America,
As Delivered by William J. Mozdzierz,
Head of the U.S. Delegation

Human Rights Council 34th session
Geneva, March 23, 2017

Thank you, Mr. President.  In the spirit of our shared policy objective, to make adequate housing available to all of our people, we are pleased to join consensus on this resolution today.

The United States supports the need to promote, protect, and respect human rights in carrying out housing policies.  We note the importance of mainstreaming human rights in urban development.  We understand that approach to mean one anchored in the rights established by international human rights law.  To that end, we read the references in the resolution to non-discrimination as reflecting the prohibition under the international covenants on human rights of discrimination on the basis of all protected grounds and as articulating important policy goals.

We join consensus on this resolution with the express understanding that it does not imply that states must become party to or implement obligations under human rights instruments to which they are not party, or signal any change in the current state of conventional or customary international law.  We interpret this resolution’s reaffirmation of previous documents as applicable to the extent countries affirmed those documents in the first place.  We consider the resolution’s phrase “the right to adequate housing” to be synonymous with the longer phrase in its title, and with similar language in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Thank you Mr. President.