Human Rights in Cities and Other Human Settlements

Human rights in cities and other human settlements (A/HRC/35/L.30)

Explanation of Position by the United States of America,
as delivered by Jason Mack.

UN Human Rights Council – 35th Session
Geneva, June 23, 2017

We greatly appreciate the extensive consultations held by Brazil and Ecuador to allow for a consensus resolution. In joining consensus on this resolution, we reaffirm our long-standing commitment to both sustainable urban development and the promotion of human rights.  The United States takes its human rights obligations and commitments seriously in cities, just as it does everywhere within its territory.

We do not recognize any “right to the city”, nor do we have any obligations or commitments with respect to it.

It is the position of the United States that the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, a unitary right, is derived from the economic, social and cultural rights contained in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  However, we do not accept the view that this right is derived from any right contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or that a state’s obligations under Article 6 of the ICCPR extend to threats to life from the environment or actions of non-state actors that are not of the government’s making.

Other concerns regarding this resolution will be addressed in the United States’ statement delivered at the end of Item 3.