General Debate on the Promotion and Protection of all Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Including the Right to Development
Statement As Delivered for Delivery by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council – 49th Session
March 16, 2022
Thank you, Madame Vice President. The promotion and protection of all human rights is a foundational requirement for a more peaceful and stable world. Unfortunately, universal human rights are not universally protected. Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine is the latest example. Russia’s invasion violates international law, flouts the core principles of international peace and security, and has created a human rights and humanitarian catastrophe.
President Biden’s Summit for Democracy and his ongoing year of action is a clarion call to the urgent need to promote democracy and human rights while countering rising authoritarianism.
Democratic backsliding is happening around the globe. Laws, policies, and democratic institutions meant to protect and enforce individuals’ human rights are under attack.
The onus is on democratic nations to renew faith and trust in government by demonstrating how democracy delivers for all.
We must also hold authorities who deny or restrict individuals’ human rights accountable.
Promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is a shared task. As global citizens, we need to protect those who are vulnerable, marginalized, or targeted through oppressive tactics and measures.
We note the significance of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 16. They demonstrate the importance of accountable governments that uphold democratic principles, provide for their people, and respect human rights and the rule of law.
No democracy is perfect. As President Biden noted at the Summit for Democracy, renewing our democracy and strengthening our democratic institutions requires constant effort. We are committed to putting in the work at home and supporting other countries across the globe seeking to do the same. The choice to respect human rights and uphold democracy is clearly the only one we can and should make.