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Advance questions and statement to the US

Advance Questions

  1. As stated in the national report, the application of the death penalty for persons who have a significant intellectual disability is barred according to the US constitution. However, some cases give reason for concern that the principle is not upheld, due to the wide margin of appreciation of each state with regard to the definition and the burden of proof. What steps can the federal level take to ensure application of the constitutional principle that individuals with a significant intellectual disability do not receive the death penalty?
  2. We welcome the openness with which the US reports about problematic practises at the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay, and the US interactions with the ICRC and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture on this issue. Practises revealed give, however, reason for concern. In light of these concerns, would the US consider granting the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture access to interact with detainees at Guantánamo Bay? If such access cannot be granted, why not?
  3. We refer to Norway’s recommendation during the previous UPR concerning blanket abortion restriction on humanitarian aid covering medical care to women and girls who are raped and impregnated in situations of armed conflict, and the development on the issue since then (e.g. UN Security Council Resolutions 2106 and 2122; the UN Secretary General’s recommendation in his 2013 report on women peace and security, ¶ 72(a), U.N. Doc. S/2013/525). Is the US considering removing the restriction on US foreign assistance to permit its use for safe abortion services in the cases of rape, life endangerment or incest? If not, what is preventing such a change in policies?
  4. We note the positive examples in the national report regarding federal initiatives to ensure state compliance with human rights instruments. Could the US provide an overview of measures to establish an institutionalised, transparent and coordinated approach to human rights monitoring and implementation at the federal, state and local level, including an indication of the extent to which the federal government will support state and local efforts through education, training and funding?

Statement

Mr. President,

Norway welcomes the delegation from the United States, and commends US efforts in the promotion of human rights domestically and internationally.

Norway remains concerned about the application of the death penalty in the United States. We recommend a review of federal and state legislation to restrict the number of offences carrying the death penalty and steps towards federal and state-level moratoria on executions with a view to its permanent abolition.

Norway recommends the removal of blanket restrictions on abortion for US foreign assistance to permit its use for safe abortion in cases of rape, life or health endangerment and incest in countries where this is legal.

While appreciating measures described in the national report, Norway recommends that a mechanism be established at the federal level to ensure comprehensive and coordinated compliance with international human rights instruments at federal, local and state level.