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US human rights concerns not proved by its participation in int’l agreements – Russian diplomat

December 27, 2012, 6:26 UTC+3
The United States is a signatory to only three out of nine basic international agreements
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UNITED NATIONS, December 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s permanent representative at the United Nations Organization Vitaly Churkin has criticized the United States for the lack of willingness to take part in international agreements on cooperation in the area of the protection of human rights.

“The United State’s contribution to the development of constructive international cooperation in the area of human rights raises a lot of questions. Positioning itself as a leader in the struggle for human rights, the United States however is very passive where participation in corresponding international legal acts is concerned,” Churkin told Russian journalists on Wednesday.

The United States is a signatory to only three out of nine basic international agreements in this area: the International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Convention against Torture, he noted. “However, the United States’ participation in these agreements is accompanied by numerous reservations that sometimes are incompatible with the tasks and gola of these documents,” Churkin stressed.

The Russian diplomat noted that the United States, Somalia, and South Sudan are the only three out of 193 United Nations member states that do not take part in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. He describes as “rather demonstrative” U.S. legislators’ recent failure to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which has been signed by 127 world nations, including Russia.

“Explanations that the ratification of this international agreement might infringe upon U.S. national security interests give rise to bewilderment,” the Russian diplomat said.

He recalled that the United States undertook a liability to join a number of international human rights agreements when it was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2009. “But these liabilities have remained empty promises,” Churkin noted. “One should remember that the United States was among those few countries that voted against the Human Rights Council at the United Nations General Assembly, and then boycotted its work for a long period of time.”

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