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Explanation of Vote on the Right to Development – Resolution HRC36 L.13 (Rev.1)
September 29, 2017

A/HRC/36/L.13_Rev. 1

Explanation of Vote by the United States of America as delivered by Katherine Gorove

Human Rights Council, 36th Session
Geneva, September 28, 2017

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States reaffirms its long-standing commitment to international development and the importance we play on incorporating respect for human rights into our development cooperation policies and strategies, as a means to promote inclusion and dignity of all. Respecting the dignity and well-being of everyone depends on accountable governments that respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, 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.  We reject any suggestion that development goals could permit countries to deviate from their human rights obligations and commitments.  We stress that a lack of development may not be invoked to justify the abridgement of internationally recognized human rights.  To this end, we continually encourage all states to respect their human rights obligations and commitments, regardless of the level of development.

In the words of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action “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 key to successful development.  For example, that is why, in the interest of ensuring sustainable development, all countries have committed to effectively addressing discrimination, including by promoting gender equality in the workplace and equal education for girls and boys, as well as addressing violence against women and girls.  We look forward to collaborating with other states to advance this conversation, and ensuring that the Council plays an appropriate role with respect to human rights and development.

The General Statement we will deliver at the end of Item 3 will reiterate our longstanding views on the existence of a “right to development” and our concern with the budgetary implications of this resolution.

Accordingly United States calls for a vote on this resolution and will vote no.

Thank you, Mr. President.