Interactive Dialogue on High Commissioner Report on State Responses to Pandemics

UN Human Rights Council – 47th Session 
June 21, 2021 
Interactive Dialogue on High Commissioner Report on State Responses to Pandemics

Statement delivered by Charles Bentley

Madame High Commissioner,  

The United States remains committed to respecting and promoting the human rights of all persons, especially during a pandemic.  The COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively affect all sectors of society worldwide, exacerbating existing inequalities and undermining the enjoyment of human rights.  For example, safe spaces and learning environments for children have been disrupted, and women, girls, and vulnerable populations have experienced disproportionate economic effects and increased rates of gender-based violence.  We continually seek to advance gender equality, including for LGBTQI+ persons, through participation and leadership in policy making and decision making.

COVID has shown us that no nation can succeed alone in the face of a pandemic. The United States will lead the G7+ efforts in a global COVID-19 vaccination campaign, providing 500 million safe and effective vaccine doses to Gavi for distribution through the COVAX program, with delivery starting in August 2021.  This is in addition to the 80 million vaccine doses previously announced by President Biden and the $2 billion in funding the United States has contributed to Gavi, in support of COVAX. We call on countries to donate additional doses of safe and effective vaccines, strengthen vaccine readiness, and work with private sector partners to vaccinate the world.

Madame High Commissioner,

 How can we best ensure that emergency measures that have restricted the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms do not remain in place indefinitely?