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Item 2 General Debate (High Commissioner's Oral Update)
September 13, 2022

Item 2 General Debate (High Commissioner’s Oral Update)

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor

Human Rights Council – 51st Session

Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you, Madam Acting High Commissioner, for yesterday’s update.

The United States is concerned by the widespread use of laws that unduly restrict freedoms of expression and of peaceful assembly and association to detain activists and outspoken critics of governments around the world, including in Algeria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.

The United States also remains deeply concerned about the situation in Xinjiang and notes the findings in the August 31 report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which we will raise in more detail under Item 4.

We are disturbed by the atrocious levels of gang violence in Haiti and the lack of progress on accountability for those responsible for killings in Bel Air, Cite Soleil, and La Saline, as well as the assassination of President Moise.

We are deeply concerned by the worsening human rights situation in Mali, where violent extremist groups as well as Mali’s defense and security forces are reportedly committing human rights abuses. We condemn the role of the Kremlin-backed Wagner Group forces in these abuses.

In Tajikistan, we urge the government to conduct full and transparent investigations into violence in the Gorno-Badakshon Autonomous Region and to end its repressive policies against civil society.

In Cambodia, we urge the government to respect fundamental freedoms and reopen civic and political space ahead of elections in 2023.

We remain very concerned about the situation of justice actors, journalists, and others who have sought to address widespread corruption in Guatemala.

In Uganda, we remain concerned by measures that prevent vibrant and active civil society from participating in public discourse, including onerous government reporting requirements for NGOs, the harassment of opposition voices, and the arbitrary detention of critics.

The United States salutes the brave civil society activists, human rights defenders, press workers, and others who speak truth to power and who advocate for the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms. We are all better off thanks to your determination and sacrifice. There has never been a more crucial time to listen to the voices of civil society, and we thank you.

Thank you, Mr. President.