Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the UN Human Rights Council Elections

Samantha Power
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York 
New York, NY
November 12, 2013




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The United States is committed to the goal of a United Nations Human Rights Council capable of advancing the fundamental rights, freedoms, and dignity of individuals worldwide. Fourteen countries were elected to the Human Rights Council today, including some that commit significant violations of the rights the Council is designed to advance and protect. Today's election in the General Assembly is a reminder that the Council’s important work remains unfinished. If the Human Rights Council is to become more effective, fair and credible, then all who have the privilege of serving on the Council must do more to protect and advance their citizens’ universal rights.

One of today’s more disturbing trends is a growing government crackdown on civil society. We continue to see countries passing laws designed specifically to stifle civil society by eroding human rights protections, restricting non-governmental organizations from accessing foreign funding, and impeding access to communications technologies that connect civil society groups around the globe. The United States has called attention to these threats, and we need to see strong action from the Council.

The United States seeks a Human Rights Council that highlights and takes action against gross abuses wherever they occur, and we call on all members to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and respect human rights for all, both at home and abroad. We remain dedicated to working with all partners – governments, citizens, civil society organizations and the United Nations – to this end.

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PRN: 2013/230