State Department Official Says U.S. Must Lead by Example on Human Rights
July 30, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
During a recent appearance in Washington, D.C., Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, discussed the Obama administration's approach to human rights and foreign policy, and he identified the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as a priority.
Speaking at the University of the District of Columbia's David Clarke School of Law, Posner said the administration is guided on human rights policy by three "pillars": to lead by example, to practice principled engagement, and to foster and promote the strengthening of civil societies.
Posner also reaffirmed that the ratification of CEDAW, a landmark international agreement that affirms principles of fundamental human rights and equality for women around the world, is a top priority for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Leadership Conference is currently leading a campaign to urge the U.S. Senate to ratify CEDAW, which is critical to advancing women's rights and strengthening U.S. commitments to protecting human rights at home and abroad.
Posner also spoke about the importance of the United States participating in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a process established by the United Nations General Assembly to review and assess the compliance of the U.N.'s 193 Member States to a number of human rights treaties and obligations. The Leadership Conference hosted a meeting with civil society representatives to provide input to the report. The upcoming U.S. report will be submitted to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and available to the public.