Opening Remarks by Ambassador Tichenor on the Report Concerning the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
Ambassador Warren W. Tichenor
Madame Chair, distinguished members of the Human Rights Committee, representatives of civil society organizations, ladies and gentlemen:
I am Warren Tichenor, the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Mission in Geneva.
It is a real pleasure for me, in the early weeks of my tenure in Geneva, to participate in this important event.
I would like to lead off with a warm welcome to formally greet the large senior level-delegation from my Government which has traveled to Geneva for this event. They represent five agencies of my Government, all with responsibilities for implementing the vital obligations we undertook when ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. I know they are delighted to be here to share information with this Committee and the public, about how solemnly our Government undertakes these duties.
Indeed, the size, level and composition of this delegation – and the truly intense effort that its members and many of their colleagues devoted to preparing the report before this Committee – are a testament to the seriousness with which my Government takes its obligations under the Covenant.
The United States has a distinguished record and long history of support for the fundamental rights laid out in this Covenant, both at home and around the globe. One of our founding fathers and the author of our nation’s Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, reminded us all of the importance of these obligations, when he wrote that "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government." More recently, President Bush has stated "from the day of our founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman has rights and dignity and matchless value…" My government strives mightily every day to meet the high standards set forth by Jefferson and President Bush, to uphold the cherished personal freedoms and rights upon which our nation was founded and our people hold so dear today.
Therefore, I also welcome, on behalf of our entire delegation, the opportunity to describe the efforts of the United States to implement its obligations under this vital Covenant.
With that, I’m honored to introduce Matthew Waxman, the head of this delegation, to make his opening remarks.
Thank you, Madame Chair.