Statement by John F. Sammis, Deputy Representative to ECOSOC, on the Third Committee Resolution A/C.3/66/L.25/Rev.1 "Rights of the child,"

John F. Sammis
United States Deputy Representative to ECOSOC 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
November 22, 2011


The United States is extremely pleased to co-sponsor the “Rights of the child” resolution today.  Throughout the lengthy negotiations we welcomed the transparency, flexibility and support of the sponsors and other negotiating partners.  This resolution highlights the important issue of protecting children with disabilities and to ensure that their interests and rights are safeguarded, and that they are equal participants in society.  The United States is committed to advance the wellbeing of all children, including children with disabilities, and is committed to work with our partners in this room and around the world to advance the protection of these vulnerable children. 

Our domestic efforts include the Individuals with Disabilities Act, or IDEA.  This landmark legislation mandates programs and services, including special education services, that actively support states and localities in guaranteeing individuals with disabilities a free and appropriate public education.  IDEA currently supports the education of over six million children and youth and 322,000 infants and toddlers with disabilities.  Over more than three decades, IDEA has resulted in more young children with disabilities receiving high-quality early interventions that prevent or reduce future need for services.  In addition, more children with disabilities are not only attending mainstream schools, but are also receiving access to the general education curriculum and learning a wide variety of academic skills.

The United States co-sponsors this resolution today with the express understanding that it does not imply that States must become parties to instruments to which they are not a party or implement obligations under human rights instruments to which they are not a party and, by co-sponsoring this resolution, we do not recognize any change in the current state of treaty or customary international law.  Further we understand the resolution’s reaffirmation of prior documents to apply to those who affirmed them initially. Moreover, we note that references to transfer of technology in UN resolutions should refer to technology transfers on mutually agreed terms.  We hope to continue working with the co-sponsors and other delegations next year.


PRN: 2011/275