Key U.S. Outcomes at the UN Human Rights Council 30th Session

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 8, 2015

The outcomes of the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva underscored the importance of robust U.S. engagement at the Council, where the United States continues to work with countries from all regions to address urgent human rights concerns.

Sri Lanka: The U.S.-led resolution, which Sri Lanka co-sponsored, highlights the Sri Lankan government’s efforts to advance respect for human rights and strengthen good governance since January 2015, encourages the reform of domestic laws to facilitate accountability for past crimes related to the Sri Lankan civil war, affirms the importance of the participation of foreign judges and prosecutors in domestic accountability mechanisms, and requests further reporting by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Syria: The United States worked with the United Kingdom, Turkey, Qatar, and many other partners to pass a resolution highlighting the atrocities occurring in Syria at the hands of the Assad regime and extremist groups.

Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism: The HRC passed the first resolution on human rights and preventing and countering violent extremism by an overwhelming margin. The resolution complements the broader UN conversation and global movement on CVE that has emerged over the last year.

Yemen: The HRC adopted a resolution requesting that the OHCHR assist Yemen’s National Independent Commission of Inquiry in its investigative work. The resolution also requests that the High Commissioner present oral and written reports on the human rights situation in Yemen at the March and September 2016 sessions of the Human Rights Council to update the Council.

Sudan: The HRC renewed the mandate of the Independent Expert on human rights in Sudan. The Independent Expert monitors the human rights situation in Sudan, including in conflict areas, and provides technical assistance.

Burundi: The HRC adopted its first Burundi resolution since 2011, requesting the High Commissioner for Human Rights to assess and report on the human rights situation.

Equal Participation in Political and Public Affairs: The United States again co-sponsored this important resolution that highlights the many ways in which citizens participate in political and public affairs. The resolution also reminds states to eliminate barriers to full and effective participation.

Freedom of Expression: The United States joined 55 countries in signing a joint statement reaffirming the right to freedom of expression, including creative and artistic expression.

Reprisals: The United States joined a statement condemning reprisals against persons and groups who cooperate with the UN, which Ghana read on behalf of more than 50 countries.

Civil Society: The United States read a joint statement on behalf of 57 other states urging states to reaffirm their commitment to a pluralistic civil society and condemning the global trend of restricting civic space.

Bahrain: The United States joined a Swiss-led statement that highlighted ongoing human rights challenges in Bahrain, especially in the area of freedom of expression.