Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the Situation in Cote d'Ivoire

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 23, 2010

Today’s special session of the Human Rights Council concerning the ongoing crisis in Cote d’Ivoire underscored the international community’s commitment to ensure respect for human rights and to address serious abuses. We applaud the African Group for leading this session.

The United States joins the international community in condemning the growing violence, the grave human rights violations, and the deterioration of security in Cote d’Ivoire. We stand with the Council in calling for the immediate end to the violence and other abuses, and we will work to hold those responsible for these human rights violations accountable.

When the United States joined the Human Rights Council, we promised to work from within to improve its effectiveness as we strive to achieve our common goals. Today’s special session exemplifies this new approach and reaffirms that the Council has an important role to play on all issues where human rights are in question.

President Alassane Dramane Ouattara is the legitimately elected and internationally recognized leader of Cote d’Ivoire. We reiterate our call for former President Laurent Gbagbo to step down immediately. The rights of the Ivoirian people can only be fully realized when democracy is respected and the rule of law restored in Cote d’Ivoire.