The Portuguese Government has received with sorrow the news that the United States of America is leaving the Human Rights Council, an organ to which the USA had been elected for a term ending on 31 December 2019.

The exit of a Member-State from the United Nations Human Rights Council is a loss to us all. It is through active participation in the different agencies and instances that constitute the United Nations system, as well as through dialogue between States that differences of opinion can be overcome.

The role played by the Human Rights Council in the promotion and protection of human rights all over the world is much valued by the Portuguese Government, a committed member of the Council.

Portugal is a firm defender of a reinforced multilateral system, anchored on the three pillars of the United Nations system and on a wide-ranging, transversal conception of peace, promoting both human rights and sustainable development.

As we prepare to celebrate, this year, the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Portuguese Government hopes that this decision by the United States of America, a close ally and a nation that pioneered the defense of human rights and fundamental liberties, may be reconsidered.

Lisbon, 20 june 2018

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