Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Burma, Iran and North Korea Human Rights Resolutions in the General Assembly's Third Committee

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
November 18, 2010


The United States welcomes today’s votes in the United Nations General Assembly’s 3rd Committee approving three separate resolutions concerning human rights in Burma, Iran and North Korea.

The Government of Iran continues to harass, arbitrarily detain and violently repress its own citizens, including broad segments of civil society. We also share the General Assembly’s deep concern about abuses against women in Iran. The resolution passed today appropriately condemns the “pervasive gender inequality and violence against women, a continued crackdown on women’s human rights defenders, arrests, violent repression and sentencing of women exercising their right to peaceful assembly and continuing discrimination against women and girls in law and in practice.”

With respect to North Korea, the government continues to refuse to cooperate or engage in a dialogue on human rights with the Secretary General’s Special Rapporteur for human rights. Additionally, the government continues to violate the civic, political, economic, social and rights of its citizens including engaging in torture and cruel punishment such as public executions, limiting freedom of movement and freedom of assembly, and violating the human rights and freedoms of women, children and citizens with disabilities.

And in Burma, the government restricts basic freedoms, including denying the political participation of pro-democracy and other parties in the recent election and holding elections that were neither free, fair, nor inclusive. The government of Burma also continues to commit serious human rights violations, including arbitrary and prolonged detentions of its citizens, rape and sexual violence, discrimination and violence against ethnic minorities, and impose serious restrictions on freedom of speech, press association and assembly.

By condemning three of the world’s most egregious human rights abusers and shining a spotlight on deplorable human rights practices in these countries, member states have stayed true to the founding values of the UN as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For those individuals who risk their freedom and their lives in the struggle for fundamental human rights, today’s votes are a clear signal that the international community is watching closely, and that we will continue to stand with them as they work toward a more just and peaceful world.


PRN: 2010/290