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U.S. Explanation of Votes on Item 7 Resolutions
March 24, 2017

U.S. Explanation of Votes on Item 7 Resolutions

As Delivered by
William J. Mozdzierz
Head of the U.S. Delegation

Human Rights Council 34th session
Geneva, March 24, 2017

Mr. President:

The United States strongly and unequivocally opposes the existence of the Human Rights Council’s Agenda Item Seven.  The continued existence of this agenda item is among the largest threats to the credibility of this body.

We are dismayed by the many repetitive and one -sided resolutions that run year after year.  None of the world’s worst human rights violators, some of whom are the object of resolutions at this session, have their own stand-alone agenda item at this Council.  Only Israel receives such treatment.  All parties to this conflict have direct responsibilities for ending it, and we are disappointed that this Council continually singles out Israel for criticism without fully acknowledging the violent attacks directed against its people, nor the obligations and difficult steps required of both sides.

Especially disturbing is this Council’s complacency about the repeated introduction of a resolution focusing on the Golan Heights.  To consider such a resolution while the Syrian regime continues to slaughter its own citizens by the tens of thousands exemplifies the absurdity of this agenda item.

We also reiterate our firm opposition to the creation of a database related to businesses that operate in settlements and will not provide any information to it.  This database falls far outside the scope of the Human Rights Council’s mandate and drains precious resources that could be used to promote and protect human rights around the world.

For these reasons, we call for a vote on each of the resolutions under agenda Item 7, and we urge our fellow Members to join us in voting “no” on each of them.