JOHANNESBURG, October 4 – The United States has been actively involved in authoring and sponsoring a number of human rights resolutions pertaining to the world as well as Africa, according to a Wednesday press release from the US Embassy in Pretoria.
Washington’s involvement follows the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, which began on September 11 and ended last Friday.
During the session the US sponsored a resolution presented by the European Union (EU) on Burundi which renewed the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in Burundi, and passed by a vote of 22 to 11 with 14 abstentions.
The US voted against Burundi’s competing, self-drafted resolution because it painted an incorrect picture of the human rights situation and did not renew the COI, according to Washington.
Instead, the latter resolution sponsored by the African Group, which passed 23 to 14 with 9 abstentions, merely requested that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) appoint an expert to strengthen the work of the OHCHR office in Burundi.
In regards to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the US voted against the DRC’s self-drafted resolution, which passed despite what the Americans felt was inappropriately laudatory language describing DRC efforts to hold accountable those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, and weak calls for the DRC to respect its human rights obligations and commitments.
The United States also delivered a strong statement supporting the continued work of the Group of Experts operating in Kasais region and called upon the government to fully cooperate with it.
Washington also co-sponsored a resolution presented by the African Group renewing the mandate of the Independent Expert on Sudan for another year, which passed by consensus.
While recognising some positive developments in Sudan over the past year, the resolution also highlighted serious remaining concerns and encouraged Sudan to intensify its endeavours to address humanitarian needs in conflict-affected areas.
– African News Agency (ANA)