Remarks at a Meeting of the Third Committee on Agenda Item 74: Human Rights

Courtney Nemroff
Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 15, 2018



The United States welcomes the consideration of proposals under Agenda Item 74: Human Rights. We must never be silent when it comes to the defense of human rights. Today, the Third Committee of the General Assembly takes up its most important responsibility of the fall session – shining a light on egregious human rights situations in specific countries.

The United States remains a leader in the fight to end impunity and continues to support justice and accountability for international crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. We respect the decision of those nations that have chosen to join the ICC, and in turn we expect that our decision not to join and not to place our citizens under the ICC’s jurisdiction will also be respected. There can be no one size fits all approach to the efforts to end impunity, ensuring accountability and punishing perpetrators.

Several resolutions in this Committee include references to the International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute that the United States cannot support, as such language does not distinguish sufficiently between Parties and Non-Parties to the Rome Statute, or is otherwise contrary to the U.S. position on the ICC as announced by the White House on September 10.

In particular, the United States reiterates our continuing and longstanding principled objection to any assertion of ICC jurisdiction over nationals of States that are not parties to the Rome Statute, including the United States and Israel, absent a UN Security Council referral or the consent of such a State. We also wish to reiterate our serious and fundamental concerns with the ICC Prosecutor’s proposed investigation of U.S. personnel in the context of the conflict in Afghanistan.