Explanation of Position on a General Assembly Resolution on Cooperation Between the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

Kara Eyrich
U.S. Adviser
New York, New York
November 21, 2022


Thank you.

We thank Kazakhstan for its work on this resolution. The United States supports cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations for the purpose of upholding the principles of the UN Charter, such as: respect for the human rights of all persons; for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member states; and for their political independence, including whether to join or not to join in associations with other states.

The United States regrets that the resolution does not refer to cooperation between the UN and the CIS in the area of human rights. We note that all UN member states, including those that also are CIS member states, have international obligations and commitments to promote and protect the universal human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as those in the instruments to which they are parties. Measures to counter terrorism and counter violent extremism must respect international law obligations and must not be used as a pretext to limit the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, by political opponents or civil society members.

The United States also notes the reference to “extremism” in operative paragraph 1 should be linked to violence. Speech that promotes an ideology or belief alone — even “extremism” — is generally protected by freedom of expression; violent extremism should be the focus of UN member states’ efforts. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the mandate holders of the UN Human Rights Council are available to assist states with recommendations to improve fulfilment of human rights obligations and commitments, and the United States encourages all CIS members to invite relevant special procedures mandate holders for country visits and to cooperate with them upon their recommendations.

We particularly encourage the Russian Federation to grant the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation, once appointed, access to the country for the purposes of monitoring and reporting on the situation there.

I thank you, Chair.