Item 4: General Debate on Human Rights Situations Requiring Council Attention

Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donohoe

Thank you, Mr. President. The United States appreciates the opportunity to bring to the Council’s attention the following country specific situations:

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U.S. Statement on Item 3 General Debate

Thank you, Mr. President. The United States has a firm commitment to the protection and promotion of all human rights. We remain a stalwart defender of courageous individuals across the globe who work, often at great personal risk, on behalf of the rights of others.

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Journalists in Armed Conflict Panel Discussion

Human Rights Council in Session. March 2010, Geneva.

The United States believes that we must act to stem violence against journalists. Already this year, we have seen more than 30 journalists and media personnel perish in armed conflicts. We are deeply distressed at this trend, and believe that all states and parties to armed conflicts must fully implement Security Council Resolution 1738 on the protection of journalists in armed conflict, and abide by their obligations under applicable international humanitarian law.

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US Statement: Reports on Freedom of Expression, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, and Trafficking in Persons

Archive Photo: Human Rights Council

The Obama Administration is firmly committed to the rule of law. As Legal Adviser Harold Koh noted in his March 25, 2010 remarks to the American Society of International Law, we are committed to complying with all applicable law, including international humanitarian law, in all aspects of ongoing armed conflicts. While the United States cannot comment on specific activities, we work hard to ensure our activities – subject to scrupulous oversight – comport with domestic and international law.

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Intervention for Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteurs for Torture and Human Rights and Counter Terrorism

Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donohoe

we supported the Special Rapporteurs’ efforts to present their study on Secret Detentions during the previous Human Rights Council session, and we were dismayed that its presentation became an avenue to attack the Special Rapporteurs’ independence.

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“Give A Voice To Victims Of Trafficking” Panel Discussion

The human trafficking phenomenon affects virtually every country in the world, including the United States. Over the last several years, awareness about human trafficking has led to greater action by member states, international organizations, civil society and concerned citizens. Yet, despite greater international attention, our national and collective efforts are inadequate. It is an outrage that lives are bought and sold into prostitution, indentured or domestic servitude, farm labor, and unlawful child soldiering. It is urgent that we severely punish the traffickers and that we prevent such exploitation from happening.

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Explanation of Vote: Human Rights Council Resolution on Free Gaza Flotilla

Human Rights Council Archive Photo

We regret having to call a vote and vote no on this resolution. It is our hope that, over time, this Council will be able to unite around balanced and appropriate responses to urgent situations that deserve our attention. We have engaged intently in discussions here in Geneva and in forums around the world in response to the events addressed in this resolution, and are deeply committed to working with partners to ensure a full and appropriate response to this incident and the circumstances that led to it.

As noted in our statement in this chamber yesterday, the United States is deeply disturbed by the recent violence and regrets the tragic loss of life and injuries suffered among those involved in the incident aboard the Gaza-bound ships. We condemn the acts that resulted in the loss of at least ten lives and many wounded, and we express our condolences to their families.

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Human Rights Council – US Statement on the May 31 Incident Aboard the Gaza-bound Ships

Human Rights Council in Session. March 2010, Geneva.

As we made clear yesterday at the Security Council, the United States government is deeply disturbed by the recent violence and regrets the tragic loss of life and injuries suffered among those involved in the May 31 incident aboard the Gaza-bound ships. We are working to ascertain the facts. We expect a credible and transparent investigation and strongly urge the Israeli government to investigate the incident fully.

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Ambassador Donahoe: Remarks on Item 2, Human Rights Council 14th Session

Ambassador Eileen Donahoe at the Human Rights Council, March 2010

The United States recalls the courage of those who stand to defend and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, and we take this opportunity to again applaud and convey our appreciation of the essential work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and its field missions.

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