Day 53: Clinton Still Won´t Issue Human Rights Reports -- but Does Tell Nations to be ´Open´ in Gov´t. (CNS) CYBERCAST NEWS SERVICE) By Pete Winn 04/18/12)
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(CNSNews.com) - On Tuesday, 53 days beyond the Feb. 25 date when it
was required to by law, the State Department had still not sent to
Congress or made public mandatory reports on how the nations of the
world fare when it comes to human rights.
But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did find time Tuesday to
promote something called the Open Government Initiative – in which
governments pledge to be open with information to their people.
“I know we don’t need to make the case for openness to you. You’re
here. But what we have to do is make a convincing case that those of
us who have joined up to the Open Government Partnership really mean
what we say,” she said in remarks at the Open Government Initiative
conference hosted by the Brazilian government in Brasilia.
“It’s not enough to assert that we are committed to openness. We have
to deliver on the commitments that we have made,” Clinton said.
“Let me mention a few examples of how that is already occurring.
Chile, Estonia, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Peru, Romania, Spain, and
Tanzania are all creating websites to make public data available to
citizens on everything from crime statistics to political party
financing to local budgets and procurement,” she added.
The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 imposes a deadline for Clinton to
submit to Congress by Feb. 25 each year reports on the human rights
conditions in countries around the world.
Section 116(d) of the law provides that “(T)he Secretary of State
shall transmit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the
Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, by February 25 of each
year, a full and complete report regarding the status of
internationally recognized human rights, within the meaning of
subsection (A) in countries that receive assistance under this part,
and (B) in all other foreign countries which are members of the
United Nations and which are not otherwise the subject of a human
rights report under this Act."
In the last 12 years, the latest the reports have ever been released
was April 8--which is when the Obama administration released them
last year. In the eleven years before that they had never been
released later than March.
A State Department spokesman told CNSNews.com last week that the
department was waiting to release them at a time when Clinton could
personally do so.
Clinton began travel to Colombia, Brazil and Belgium on April 13 and
will return April 19. She accompanied President Obama for the Sixth
Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia from April 13-15.
The Human Rights country reports may prove to be embarrassing for the
Obama administration. Among the things that would be expected to be
detailed in this year´s report would be the status of Christians in
Afghanistan and Iraq, and the human rights situations in Egypt and in
Libya. (copyright 1998-2012 Cybercast News Service 04/18/12)
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