U.S. Strongly Supports Efforts to Hold Accountable Those Responsible for Atrocities

Interactive Dialogue on the Joint Study of the Special Adviser of the SG on the Prevention of Genocide and the SR on Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence

37th Session of the Human Rights Council

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

Delivered by David G. Mandel-Anthony,

March 2, 2018

Thank you Madame Vice President, and we thank the Special Adviser and the Special Rapporteur for their joint study. The United States strongly supports credible transitional justice initiatives and has long supported efforts to hold accountable those responsible for atrocities, including genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious human rights violations and abuses. We believe that transitional justice can play a critical role in preventing the recurrence of violence and abuse. We are among the largest donors and supporters of post-conflict truth and justice initiatives in the world; we will continue our leading role.

In November, Secretary Tillerson concluded that the situation in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state constitutes ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya. The United States recognizes the importance of accountability in this context both to address past wrongs and prevent their recurrence. As such, we have repeatedly called for holding those responsible for atrocities to account. The government has denied atrocities occurred, despite credible information demonstrating the occurrence of massacres, sexual violence, and the existence of mass graves. The United States continues to call on the Government of Myanmar to cooperate with the UN Fact-Finding Mission and the Special Rapporteur. We have supported action on this at the UN Security Council and the General Assembly and will do so again at the HRC. We welcome the Government’s stated commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Annan Commission, and we call upon the government to act to protect all its people.

We are also strongly committed to justice in the Central African Republic and South Sudan, as we believe that accountability and transitional justice contribute to atrocity prevention. In view of the findings contained in the latest report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, we strongly urge the Government of South Sudan to sign the MOU on the establishment of the Hybrid Court immediately. In Latin America, the United States has consistently voiced support for Colombia’s efforts to secure a just and lasting peace, including implementing a transitional justice strategy.

As our National Security Strategy affirms, we will not remain silent in the face of evil. We will work to hold accountable those responsible for genocide and other mass atrocities.