The National Security Strategy (NSS) is prepared periodically by the executive branch for the Congress. The document outlines major national security concerns and the Administration’s approach for addressing these concerns.
The Obama Administration’s NSS emphasizes the United States’ belief in and commitment to universal values such as the freedoms of speech, assembly, and worship, the right of people to choose their leaders, equality, and the rule of law. To that end, the Administration will strengthen the example the United States sets by maintaining our traditional values in the face of terrorism and other global threats. The U.S. will also promote human rights and democracy around the world by supporting new democracies, engaging in principled diplomacy with non-democratic regimes, and recognizing the legitimacy of all peaceful democratic movements. In doing so, the U.S. will support the rights of women and girls, fight corruption, build an international coalition to advance universal values, and promote the use of new technologies to increase access to information. The U.S. is also committed to eradicating global poverty and promoting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
In this address at the National Archives, President Obama outlined his Administration’s approach to national security. The President emphasized that holding true to America’s fundamental values is essential to national security and disputed the notion that we can sacrifice the Constitution in times of national emergency. The President discussed the steps the Administration has taken to craft a national security policy that is responsive to modern threats without sacrificing traditional values. These steps include ending the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, taking steps to close Guantanamo, and establishing a comprehensive legal framework to process the Guantanamo detainees. The President also promised to adhere to a system of transparency and accountability in his national security policy, communicating with the public, and establishing oversight by the other branches of government. Read the full remarks here.
On November 5, 2010, a senior U.S. delegation will make a formal presentation of the U.S. Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The delegation will be led by Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs; Harold Hongju Koh, Legal Adviser for the U.S. Department of State; and Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
The delegation will also include representatives from the Department of Justice and other U.S. Government agencies.
The Universal Periodic Review was established by the UN General Assembly in 2006 as a process through which the human rights records of each of the UN’s 192 Member States are reviewed and assessed once every four years. All UN Member States are subject to this process. This is the first such review for the United States.
The U.S. report covers the nation’s human rights record on such important freedoms as the freedoms of speech, of association, and of belief. It also examines a range of challenges, including issues of discrimination and topics related to civil liberties in the context of national security. The U.S. report was developed in consultation with a host of U.S. civil society actors and organizations.
Subsequent to the formal presentation, the U.S. delegation will host a first-of-its-kind town hall meeting with U.S. and international civil society leaders to discuss further the U.S. report. This meeting will extend the U.S. effort to promote transparency, open dialogue, and inclusion.
To read the U.S. UPR report, or learn more about the process, please visit: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/upr/index.htm