The Human Rights of Older Persons

Human Rights Council 24th Session - Geneva, Switzerland

Explanation of Position, Statement of the Delegation of the United States of America

Thank you, Mr. President.  We would like to thank the main sponsors and other delegations for their efforts on this resolution on “The Human Rights of Older Persons.”  The United States joins consensus on this resolution with the following Explanation of Position.

All delegations here share the objective of improving the well-being of older persons.  As reflected in discussions in the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing over the past three years, where we differ is in our views on how best to achieve that goal.

Ageing issues are considered throughout the UN, not only in the General Assembly and Commission on Social Development, but in other mechanisms as well.  We stress that the new HRC Independent Expert on the human rights of older persons must focus his or her activities on working with states to enable them to implement existing laws and policies and to protect the rights of older persons.  The Independent Expert must not duplicate the activities of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing, a mechanism that has overlapping elements in its mandate.  We believe the best way to avoid duplication is for the Open-Ended Working Group to suspend its operations during the Independent Expert’s mandate.

We also note that member states have limited ability to provide additional resources to enable OHCHR to perform the substantial new work mandated by the Human Rights Council.  This resolution will trigger costs of over half a million dollars each year, a significant sum.  Avoiding duplication among the various entities addressing ageing concerns is essential to reduce costs and ensure efficiency.

Thank you.

- Cross posted from U.S. Mission Geneva

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