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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

Support Confirmation of Keith Harper as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council

Advocacy Letter - 03/26/14

Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell


Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged byits diverse membership of more than 210 national organizations to promote and protect thecivil and human rights of all persons in the United States, we write to urge you to swiftlyconfirm Keith Harper as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Human RightsCouncil (UNHRC).

Mr. Harper is a member of the Cherokee Nation and would be the first Native American toserve as an Ambassador for the United States. He has spent decades fighting for the civil andhuman rights of Native Americans and indigenous people here and around the world. Hisexperience as a litigator, a judge on tribal courts, and advocate and negotiator before theOrganization of American States and the United Nations on behalf of the National Congressof American Indians, makes him exceptionally well-qualified for this position.

We have worked closely with Mr. Harper for nearly 15 years on international human rights,and have witnessed firsthand his deep understanding of the law and his effective advocacyfor civil and human rights across the globe. Mr. Harper has worked tirelessly in global forato ensure that the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has been a prominenttopic within the various United Nations human rights bodies. The U.N. General Assemblywill be holding a World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in September 2014, and Mr.Harper’s presence there on behalf of the United States will send a strong message about theUnited States’ commitment to the rights of indigenous peoples.

We urge you to take all necessary steps to move the nomination forward to the Senate floorat the earliest possible time. As you well know, the position of Ambassador to the HumanRights Council in Vienna remains vacant. Given the serious human rights challenges thatour government seeks to address throughout the world, it is critical that the United States hasan Ambassador in Geneva in place.

Keith Harper is deeply committed to civil and human rights and will be an effective andhighly principled champion and leader for the United States on the Human Rights Council.We are confident he will serve as an Ambassador with distinction and unquestionedintegrity, and urge his confirmation without delay. For further information, please contact June Zeitlin, Director of Human Rights Policy, at 202-263-2852.

Sincerely,

Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President

Our Members