Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, After Adoption by the General Assembly of a US-led Amendment to the Resolution on Extrajudicial, Summary, and Arbitrary Executions

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
December 21, 2010




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Today, the United Nations General Assembly has sent a clear and resounding message that justice and human rights apply to all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation.

Several weeks ago, on November 16, the General Assembly’s Third Committee voted by a narrow margin to eliminate any mention of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals from a resolution condemning extrajudicial killing of vulnerable people around the world. The United States fought hard for that reference when it came to a Committee vote, and we lost. As I have said before, I was incensed by that vote.

In the weeks following that setback, the United States was proud to introduce an amendment to restore this critical language to the biennial resolution on Extrajudicial, Summary, and Arbitrary Execution before it came for a final vote of the full UN General Assembly. On December 10, at an event marking Human Rights Day, I announced our effort and said, “We’re going to stand firm on this basic principle, and we intend to win.”

The U.S built a broad coalition of partners and together we galvanized member states to support this effort – and to win.

Today, the General Assembly voted by a significant margin, 93 to 55, to approve the U.S.-led amendment and condemn the extrajudicial killing of people around the world due to their sexual orientation.

The voices of civil society and human rights defenders around the world have been heard today, and for that my delegation is especially proud. Less than two weeks after we celebrated the 62nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, today’s vote ensures that the principles enshrined in that Declaration are put into practice – and indeed live on – in the 21st Century.

###



PRN: 2010/342