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The State Department vs. America

- Abstract

As the diplomatic arm of the world’s greatest power, the U.S. Department of State has many, and widely varied, responsibilities. In 1992, the Bush administration added one more: by agreeing, after the country had held out for sixteen years, to sign the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it placed upon the State Department the responsibility for the preparation of an annual report on the condition of human rights in the U. S.

On September 28, 1994, the first such report, a closely printed document of 213 pages, was submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee. As might be expected, this report was undertaken under the supervision of the State Department office formerly known as Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and now, for some reason, called Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. The major obligation of this office in the past was to submit to the Congress annual reports on human rights around the world, country by country. Now it is obligated to report to the world organization on its own country as well.

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