Sunday, April 24, 2005

US stands alone against Health Care as a Right

The United Nations
Commission on Human Rights
April 15, 2005

In a resolution (E/CN.4/2005/L.28) on the right of everyone to the enjoyment

of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, adopted as

orally revised and by a roll-call vote of 52 in favour to one against, with
no abstentions, the Commission urged States to take steps, individually and
through international assistance and cooperation, especially economic and
technical, to the maximum of their available resources, with a view to
achieving progressively the full realization of the right of everyone to the

enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;
and called upon the international community to continue to assist the
developing countries in promoting the full realization of the right of
everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and

mental health, including through financial and technical support as well as
training of personnel, while recognizing that the primary responsibility for

promoting and protecting all human rights rests with States.

The Commission encouraged States to recognize the particular needs of
persons with disabilities related to mental disorders, as well as their
families, including by reflecting their needs in national health and social
policies, such as national poverty reduction strategies; and called upon
them to place a gender perspective at the centre of all policies and
programmes affecting women's health. They also called upon States to protect

and promote sexual and reproductive health as integral elements of the right

of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical
and mental health and decided to extend, for a period of three years, the
mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to everyone to the enjoyment
of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (52): Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, Burkina Faso,

Canada, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt,
Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Guatemala, Guinea,
Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia,

Mauritania, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru,
Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South
Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, Ukraine, United Kingdom and
Zimbabwe.

Against (1): United States.

David Hohman (United States), speaking in explanation of the vote... said
the United States believed that while the progressive realization of
economic, social and cultural rights required government action, those
rights were not an immediate entitlement to a citizen.

http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpNewsByYear_en)/0DC62B805
E191CF7C1256FE40050A75D?OpenDocument
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