Statement on Agenda Item 69 ‘Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights & impeding the exercise of the right…to self-determinat

Daniel Thompson
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 18, 2019


The United States condemns the grave threat that non-state armed groups continue to present to States’ ability to protect human rights and maintain order. However, we disagree fundamentally with a central premise of this resolution: that mercenaries, private security companies, and private military companies are functionally identical and equally problematic.  Private military and security companies remain, in many instances, legitimate, civilian forces, whose operations are consistent with applicable international law. The United States has championed consistently innovative approaches to international frameworks and codes of conduct addressing the activities of private military and security companies. Those efforts are bearing fruit and we accordingly believe that the UN Working Group on Mercenaries should best focus its attention solely on the issue of mercenaries. For these reasons, the United States maintains today its long-standing position regarding this resolution.  We will vote no and we encourage other delegations to do the same.

Thank you, Chair.