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Panel Discussion on the Negative Impact of Colonialism on Human Rights
September 28, 2022

Panel Discussion on the Negative Impact of Colonialism on Human Rights

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Kelly Billingsley

Human Rights Council – 51st Session

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States is committed to addressing the multidimensional legacies of systemic racism and racial discrimination through an unprecedented emphasis on racial equity and justice at home and abroad.

As we continue to work toward racial justice, we see systemic racism as a global scourge, one that often stems from legacies of colonialism. We must confront these legacies as we work to counter racism.

Collectively, we must engage in transparent and constructive dialogue on tangible solutions to address the systemic impacts of colonialism, which include racial, ethnic, and religious hierarchies; ecological degradation from natural resource over-extraction; and forced migration and human trafficking.

As this Council reaffirmed in resolution 48/7, persecution of members of any identifiable group, collective, or community on racial, national, ethnic, or other grounds that are universally recognized is impermissible under international law.

As the United States honestly examines its human rights record, in particular regarding the harsh realities of racial injustice, including that which stems from colonialism, we hope other countries do the same. In the words of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, “Great nations do not hide from our shortcomings; they acknowledge them openly and strive to improve with transparency.”

Question: As part of our efforts to address systemic racism and improve our implementation of our international human rights commitments, the Biden-Harris Administration has issued a standing invitation to HRC special procedures to visit the United States. How can we encourage all HRC member states to do the same?