Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America,
as delivered by Trevor Wysong

Human Rights Council 36th Session
Geneva, September 15, 2017

Thank you, Mr. Vice-President,

The United States thanks the Special Rapporteur for his presentation.  We reaffirm our long-standing commitment to international development and the importance we place on incorporating respect for human rights into our development strategies, as a means to promote inclusion and dignity of all.  We encourage all states to do the same.  Respecting the dignity and well-being of everyone is critical to achieving sustainable development, which depends on accountable governments that respect human rights, provide access to justice, and follow the rule of law.

All development, including sustainable development, needs to be undertaken in a manner that is consistent with human rights.  The United States underscores that there are no circumstances under which development goals could permit countries to deviate from their human rights obligations and commitments.  Therefore, we continually encourage all states to implement their human rights obligations and commitments, regardless of level of development.

We agree with the Special Rapporteur [and previous speakers] that, in the words of the Vienna Declaration, development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are mutually reinforcing.  In fact, respect for human rights and establishment of rule of law are keys to successful development.  For example, it is unmistakably clear that to ensure sustainable development, countries need to effectively address discrimination, including by promoting gender equality in the workplace and equal education for girls and boys, as well as by addressing violence against women.

We look forward to collaborating with other states to advance this conversation and ensure the Council plays an appropriate role with respect to human rights and development.

Thank you, Mr. Vice-President.