Explanation of Position on a Third Committee Resolution on Enhancement of International Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights

Courtney Nemroff
Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 13, 2018


Thank you, Chair.

The United States continues to support increased international cooperation to further the protection and promotion of human rights.

However, that we must dissociate from preambular paragraph 5, due to the incorrect assertion that the enhancement of international cooperation is essential for the effective promotion and protection of all human rights. International cooperation is a helpful instrument to promote the implementation of human rights, but each individual State maintains primary responsibility to promote and protect human rights. States’ human rights obligations and commitments are not contingent upon international cooperation. The absence of cooperation does not implicate the failure to honor these obligations and commitments; similarly, the lack of development may not be invoked to justify the abridgement of internationally recognized human rights.

As stated in the past, this resolution contains language that identifies a continuing, global food crisis, which we believe is inaccurate. We acknowledge that certain populations are experiencing regional crises, particularly in conflict zones, which has caused many persons to experience a period of food and commodity price volatility. However, we, along with many other members of the world community, do not believe we are currently in a global food crisis. UN bodies, such as the Food and Agricultural Organization, have issued warnings about high local and regional food prices and price volatility, but has made clear that the current situation does not constitute a global food crisis.

Thank you, Chair.