My delegation presents a point of order. The speaker is out of line. It is possible to refer to human rights situations, but one cannot question the hopes and aspirations of states to become members of the Human Rights Council members, or their right to be members. But you cannot say that my country does not have a right to be a member of this council. The statement is completely out of line — I ask that it be struck from the record.
As we have always highlighted, the United States firmly believes that accredited NGOs must be permitted to speak in this council. Though member states including ourselves may occasionally disagree on the content of their statements, it is essential that civil society voices be heard here in an atmosphere of open expression, and obviously their statement be kept for the record. Without addressing the substance of the speaker’s statement, we are of the opinion that what we have heard of the intervention is indeed addressed to the subject matter at hand, Agenda Item 4, “Human Rights Situations.” We therefore urge you to make sure the NGO statement is reflected in record.
China believes that all NGOs should get the opportunity to speak. We are never against their right to speak, but it should be under the item discussed. They can criticize and condemn countries for human rights situations, but they are not entitled to challenge the right of a country to become a member of the council. I hope that the Vice-President and other presidents of the council will give impartial rulings on this…
We would like to ask the NGO through yourself that they abstain from using disrespectful terms such authoritarian regimes. We will not permit them to use this kind of language in this forum.
We would like to align ourselves with the statement just made by Cuba, and point out that the Human Rights Council has its own agenda. The question of replacing governments has nothing to do with issue being discussed right now. We would like our statement placed on the record.
We ask the Vice-President to prohibit the NGO from speaking. The statement is totally out of the permitted scope. We ask which provision in rules of procedure permitted him to label a sovereign state, to point a finger on a country that is a member, or which wishes to become a member. I wonder: the terms he has used — “authoritarian” — are these terms permitted by the council?
We underscore that interventions of NGOs must be aligned with the agenda item.