Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with the Chair of the Human Rights Committee

Patrick Breen
U.S. Adviser for the Third Committee
New York, New York
October 11, 2023


Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States applauds the Committee for the seriousness with which it has engaged on treaty body reform and for its dedication to promoting civil and political rights that have resulted in numerous improvements in law, policy, and practice around the globe.

We recognize the significance of upholding treaties and praise the treaty body chair’s commitment to implement reforms aimed at harmonizing and streamlining the system. We look forward to expressing, during our upcoming presentation to the Committee, our deep commitment to the human rights obligations detailed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

However, we want to reiterate our concern with the Committee’s tendency to issue highly expansive interpretations and overbroad characterizations of the international law obligations contained within the ICCPR. In order to strengthen support and respect for international law, it is critical that we respect what states parties agreed to in negotiating and ratifying the ICCPR and other treaties – human rights treaty bodies, like the Committee, are not the appropriate avenue for reopening such texts and revising the scope of obligations that state parties have under them.

Thank you once again.