I applaud today’s decision by the Human Rights Council to take action in defense of members of civil society around the globe by creating the first-ever Special Rapporteur on freedom of assembly and association. This unprecedented action is a good first step in defending a fundamental freedom enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one that I emphasized during my July trip to Poland.
We hope this resolution will become an impetus for countries around the world to strengthen protections for this fundamental freedom. This consensus resolution, which won the support of many countries that have not always stood up for such fundamental freedoms, demonstrates clearly how we can all find common ground on challenging issues in order to advance our core beliefs.
An active and vibrant civil society is one of the essential elements of a free nation, and I applaud the action by the international community today to take up the President’s call to stand firmly on the side of human rights and civil society and strengthen the ability of civil society activists around the world to bring about change in their countries. The United States will continue our leading effort to expand respect for this fundamental freedom for civil society members and other individuals all over the world.