The announcement came in the wake of international criticism following the Department of State's release of the 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on Thursday. The annual Reports have assessed other countries' human rights practices for 34 years, but have not yet included the United States. This may at least partially have been because the reports are used as a tool by the United States in developing foreign policy, and the United States also will be making a report to the United Nations on its own track record later this year. However, some countries argue that the United States needs to take a closer look at itself.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that she "want[s] us to start looking at the United States for every report we do," and added that "I think we will have more credibility if we start looking at the United States while we criticize other countries as well."
Stated Posner: "One of the challenges, one of the criticisms of the report over the years has been that we report on the whole world, except for ourselves. And Secretary Clinton has made it very clear, as has the President, that we adhere to a single, universal standard of human rights and apply it to everyone, including ourselves."