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Explanation of Position on Mental Health – HRC36 Resolution L.25
September 29, 2017

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

Human Rights Council, 36th Session
Geneva, September 29, 2017

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States thanks Brazil and Portugal for their continued dedication to an issue of tremendous importance to all countries.  The United States strongly supports the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of mental health.

While we share the broad aims of this resolution, the United States believes there is a need to clarify a few key points.  We interpret this resolution’s references to obligations as applicable to States only to the extent they have assumed such obligations, and to the extent that they accurately reflect the rights as articulated in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  Moreover, we understand “international human rights norms” to refer to the human rights and fundamental freedoms that are set forth in international human rights covenants and conventions, as applicable.

Despite these and other concerns with the resolution, we join consensus on this resolution because we support its focus on encouraging States to take measures to address the challenges faced by persons with mental health and psychosocial conditions.  We believe these persons should be respected and treated as equal members of the community, and we maintain a high priority on identifying solutions that alleviate those challenges.

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

Thank you.