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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Oppose H.R. 2829, the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2011

Advocacy Letter - 10/13/11

Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: House Foreign Affairs Committee


Dear Member of House Foreign Affairs Committee,

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States, we write to urge you to oppose H.R. 2829, the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2011.

Among other things, the bill would severely restrict the U.S. contribution to the United Nations, including withholding a pro rata share of U.S. dues that goes to the Human Rights Council, prohibiting voluntary contributions to the Council, and prohibiting the United States from running for a second term on the Council.  Eliminating U.S. engagement with the Human Rights Council would undermine the global leadership of the United States and our ability to build support to advance vital human rights protections for people around the world.  U.S. participation in the Council has achieved real results, including a groundbreaking resolution that seeks to address violence, discrimination and incitement to religious hatred without reference to “defamation of religions,” and the first ever resolution addressing violence and discrimination against LGBT persons to be passed by a UN body.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has been an active participant in the deliberations of the Human Rights Council as they relate to holding the United States accountable for its human rights commitments.  We participated in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for the United States and applauded its efforts to reach out and consult with civil society, both in the preparation of its report for the UPR and with respect to the convening of the first ever town hall meeting with civil society in the Council chambers following the formal presentation of its report to members of the Council.  U.S. participation in the Human Rights Council has served as a model of democratic engagement with civil society for countries around the world. 

We are also concerned about a provision in H.R. 2829 to cut funds to the UN entities tasked with implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).  This provision would undermine the important work of the United Nations to advance women’s rights worldwide. While the United States has been a global leader in standing up for women and girls around the world, it has failed to join the 187 other countries that have ratified CEDAW.  We urge you to oppose this provision and to support the Administration’s efforts to ask the Senate to move forward with ratification of CEDAW.

We believe that continued U.S. engagement with the Human Rights Council provides an important forum to advance human rights globally, including the civil and human rights of all Americans.  As H.R. 2829 would block effective U.S.engagement with the Human Rights Council, if enacted, we urge you to oppose the bill.

 

Sincerely,

Wade Henderson
President & CEO


Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President

Our Members