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Successes at United Nations Human Rights Council

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (2L) leaves after addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, June 6, 2017.

The United States’ work on the Human Rights Council demonstrates that it “will never give up the cause of universal human rights.”

Successes at United Nations Human Rights Council
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At the recently concluded session of the UN Human Rights Council, the U.S. played a key role in shaping the international response to urgent human rights situations.

In several speeches, Ambassador Haley highlighted the need for reform of the Human Rights Council, or HRC, to make it more effective and accountable, including by eliminating the biased agenda item focused solely on Israel. She underscored the need for the HRC to focus international attention and action on the worst human rights violators, including through reforms to the Council’s membership.

In particular, the United States joined consensus on a resolution establishing an international team that will investigate reports of atrocities occurring in the Kasai provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The U.S. issued a strong statement calling for the government of the DRC to cooperate with the investigation, provide unhindered access to all areas of the country, ensure the safety of all who cooperate with the investigation, including victims and witnesses, and ensure accountability for all perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses.

On Venezuela, the United States co-sponsored a side event to draw attention to the deteriorating human rights situation there. Following the event, the United States condemned reprisals by the Venezuelan delegation against two of the participants.

In support of gender equality, the United States joined consensus on resolutions on eliminating violence against women and discrimination against women and girls. The U.S. also co-sponsored resolutions to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteurs on trafficking in persons and on child, early, and forced marriage in humanitarian settings.

The United States co-sponsored a resolution on the egregious violations and abuses of human rights in Syria. The U.S. also co-sponsored a resolution welcoming the Ukrainian government’s cooperation with UN human rights monitors. The United States continued its support for the mandates of the special rapporteurs on Belarus and on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, and supported a Presidential Statement on Cote d’Ivoire to encourage continued cooperation between the government and the UN on human rights.

The United States’ work on the HRC demonstrates that it “will never give up the cause of universal human rights.”