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Item 6: General Debate on the Universal Periodic Review
September 25, 2017

Statement by the United States of America as delivered by Christina Bruff

Human Rights Council 36th Session
Geneva, September 25, 2017

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States expresses appreciation and thanks to governments that have undertaken the Universal Periodic Review process with seriousness, objectivity, and respect.  We remain encouraged by the example set by governments who review their own human rights commitments with an open mind and willingness for engagement and active dialogue.

The spirit of this Council is to promote and protect human rights worldwide.  The UPR process can be a critical element in identifying and hopefully mitigating, the infringement of fundamental freedoms across the world.

Civil society’s universal participation within the UPR process remains essential.  Yet, since the establishment of the UPR, members continue to commit acts of reprisal against those who try to speak on behalf of civil society in support of this review.

Members of civil society have felt the impact of reprisals in many forms for many years, simply for their mere engagement, or attempted engagement, in this process.

Members of this Council must not engage in these practices.  Those that do only reinforce the international community’s concerns about their human rights records.

The United States remains steadfast in its support for the acknowledgement and representation of civil society, which provides diverse viewpoints and experiences, within all bodies of the United Nations and particularly the UPR process.

Thank you.