U.S. Statement on Reprisal Amendment – HRC36 Resolution L.26 Amendment L.43

U.S. Statement as delivered by Jason Mack

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

Thank you, Mr. President.

First, to correct the record, the United States has not withdrawn our cosponsorship of this resolution.

The United States strongly opposes Amendment L.43 proposed by the Russian Federation.  The issue of host nation responsibilities is outside the scope of this resolution, and is a topic that is appropriately addressed in other UN bodies.  The proposed amendment does not accurately capture the nature of reprisals against members of civil society for their participation in the United Nations or their cooperation with UN mechanisms and treaty bodies.  The primary resolution the Russian delegation seeks to amend addresses acts of intimidation or reprisal taken against those cooperating with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights.  It is not about visas.  Rather, the real concern that we should all share are the cases in which a country does not allow members of its own civil society to travel abroad in order to cooperate with the United Nations.  Of equal importance and concern are the reprisals and intimidation that can take place against civil society members once they return to their homes after cooperating with the United Nations and its mechanisms.  That is why the United States is calling for a vote on this amendment, will vote against this amendment, and urges all delegations to oppose this amendment as well.

Thank you, Mr. President.