Reply to Russia on Ensuring Constitutional Policing in the United States | Statement to the PC
As delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Kate M. Byrnes
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
January 19, 2017
Thank you Mr. Chair. I just want to say that we are deeply disappointed that the Russian delegation would use the opportunity to distort this issue for other political purposes.
The United States believes strongly that we have made a commitment to ourselves and to others to stand by certain principles and commitments, to hold ourselves accountable first before we come to this forum. This is an issue that is of deep concern to all American citizens and to the American government. It has been for a long time. And we will continue our efforts to brief all of our colleagues here about this current issue because of that deep concern we share with many of you in good faith.
But I think the danger we see here today is that the practice of bringing good faith, voluntary reporting to the Council is misused on a regular basis. That discourages people from taking that good practice forward.
I’d like to reassure all of our colleagues here today that the U.S. delegation and the U.S. government will remain committed to maintaining, protecting and preserving this practice, which is a vital part of our OSCE commitments and of our engagement in this Permanent Council forum.
We will not be bullied, we will not be dissuaded, and we will continue to hold ourselves accountable and to report to all of you as well.