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Diplomacy in Action

Remarks on Libya's Suspension from UN Human Rights Council

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
March 1, 2011


AP/Reuters Soundbites:

Ambassador Susan Rice (March 1): "The General Assembly has come together to speak with one voice to Libya's unrepentant rulers. This unprecedented action sends another clear warning to Mr. Qadhafi and those who still stand by him: They must stop the killing. When the only way a leader can cling to power is by grossly and systematically violation his own people's human rights, he has lost any legitimacy to rule. He must go and he must go now."

"We had just a historic session in the General Assembly when all members unanimously agreed to the suspension of Libya's membership from the Human Rights Council. This is the first time that either the Human Rights Council or its predecessor the Human Rights Commission have suspended any member state for gross violations of human rights. And we think this is an important step forward in enhancing the credibility of the Human Rights Council whose credibility on these issues has often quite legitimately been called into question. Today the General Assembly exercised its authority to suspend a member state for gross violations of human rights. And in our view this is progress as was last Friday's special session in Geneva for the Human Rights Council, and we hope it's progress that will be sustained."

"The Venezuelan perm rep's comments were ugly and reprehensible, and I think I dealt with him emphatically in the chamber. And he can live in the fantasy world that he apparently does -- apparently there is more than one delusional person speaking allowed this week. But we'll let his own remarks speak for themselves." Full Text»

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