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General Debate on Racism
October 5, 2021

General Debate on Racism

Human Rights Council – 48th Session

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Senior Advisor Ms. Cormier Smith

Racism erodes democratic values, diminishes respect for human rights, and undermines efforts to create inclusive societies.

The United States firmly believes that great nations must face their past and address systemic racism to ensure a more prosperous future.

The Biden Administration has elevated racial justice and equity as an immediate priority across our federal government agencies, policies, and programs, and in our engagement at the UN.

As we seek to build a world that honors the dignity, equality, and contributions of all individuals and communities, we must address the root causes of structural racism while acknowledging its intersection with gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, religion, national origin, and other traits.

Every country has an obligation to address racial inequality and injustice. Though it may be uncomfortable to confront our histories and realities, as President Biden said, “Only with truth can come healing, justice, and repair.”

We look forward to working with our partners across the UN to fight the scourge of racism worldwide, including through the newly established Permanent Forum for People of African Descent, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, relevant Special Rapporteurs, and OHCHR.