At the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United States defended, protected, and advanced respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms around the world.
The United States cosponsored a resolution led by 26 European Union member states and cosponsored by over 40 countries expressing grave concern regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in Russia, including severe restrictions on freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly. The resolution also establishes a Special Rapporteur to ensure independent review.
The United States and over 35 cosponsors tabled a decision to discuss the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ assessment of the human rights situation in Xinjiang, China, which concluded that “the extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of the Uyghur and predominantly Muslim groups. . .may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity” and notes that “serious human rights violations have been committed.” This marks the first time since the Council’s founding that a member pursued formal action to address the human rights situation in the People’s Republic of China. The decision was defeated by a narrow margin.
The United States cosponsored a resolution to renew and strengthen the capacity of the Special Rapporteur on the situation in Afghanistan, to include documentation, preservation, and reporting of abuses, particularly affecting women, girls, and minority groups.
The United States also cosponsored a resolution to ensure continued Council attention on the human rights situation in Ethiopia.
As a member of the core group, the United States cosponsored a resolution for continued Council engagement with the government of Sri Lanka during this time of economic crisis, including supporting the need for accountability for past abuses and those committed during the recent political turmoil. Strengthening protection and respect for human rights goes hand-in-hand with political and economic reform.
The United States joined the Council in once again calling international attention to the ongoing abuses and violations in Syria, primarily those committed by the Bashar al-Assad regime.
In order to hold the Nicolas Maduro regime accountable for human rights abuses in Venezuela, the United States cosponsored the resolution to renew the mandate of the Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela.
During its first year back on the Human Rights Council, the United States worked to push the Council to reflect and reinforce the universal values, aspirations, and norms that have underpinned the UN system for the last 75 years.