Item 3 General Debate
Statement of the United States of America
United Nations Human Rights Council 48th Session
As delivered by Daniel A. Kronenfeld
History and an overwhelming amount of data indicate that societies that respect and defend democratic institutions, the rule of law, human rights, and gender equality are more stable, prosperous, and secure, and are better equipped to confront global challenges.
Today, many autocratic governments advance the falsehood that only by restricting individuals’ actions can societies ensure prosperity and security. Nothing could be further from the truth.
No democracy is perfect, and no democracy is ever final. Every gain made, every barrier broken, is the result of determined, unceasing work. Democratic societies must continue their vital efforts to defend civil society and independent media, promote free and fair elections, and insist on accountability for those who commit abuses and foster corruption. Those governments that hide behind the mantle of promoting economic development while seeking to undermine human rights must be held to account, including for their own human rights abuses and violations.
We remain steadfast in our belief that democracies must continually confirm and promote respect for their human rights obligations and commitments to ensure lasting progress.