Human Rights Council 49th Session
Debate in Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Theme: Voices for action against racism
As Delivered by U.S. Ambassador to the Human Rights Council, Michèle Taylor
March 28, 2022
Thank you, Mr. President, and to you, Madam High Commissioner.
The United States is honored to participate in today’s Commemoration. For it is only by all of us recognizing the truth that racism is a poison that weakens our collective body – that we can address this universal plague by name.
A year ago, during HRC 46, we asked you to stand with us and commit to taking more active steps to counter racism and racial discrimination. A total of 158 countries made that pledge and signed the Joint Statement. We loudly echo UN Secretary General Guterres’ comments: “For equality, respect, and dignity to succeed, we must speak as one against racism.”
The United States is not here to preach. We are here to hold each other to account, to maximize our collective efforts, to share lessons learned and best practices – all for the sole purpose of making real and sustainable progress countering racism and racial discrimination in all its forms.
Racism goes well beyond a corrosive personal poison. It drives persistent inequality, gender disparity, and political instability. Indeed, it is a threat to our collective security and prosperity.
We recognize our country’s diversity as a unique source of strength. When we fail to harness that diversity, we only do ourselves a disservice. As long as people are prevented from living up to their full potential simply because of the color of their skin, we are all worse off.
While we still have so much work to do, I am proud to say that we are making progress, such as seeing the first-ever nomination of a Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Let us we all redouble our efforts to be champions of diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of society, so achievements like this no longer seem so rare. I thank you.