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Item 8 General Debate on the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action
September 30, 2022

Item 8 General Debate on the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action

Statement As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor

Delegation of the United States of America

UN Human Rights Council 51st Session

Thank you, Mr. President,

The Vienna Declaration and Program of Action underscores that it is the responsibility of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The United States is committed to renewing democracy at home and around the world. We would like to highlight countries that have made achievements to improve respect for human rights domestically and abroad. Many of these achievements have been highlighted in the context of the Summit for Democracy, led by the Biden-Harris Administration.

Moldova passed long-stalled legislation to criminalize hate-based crime, demonstrating its commitment to increasing protections for vulnerable communities in a step towards promoting accountability and creating a more inclusive, democratic society.

Kosovo established a Presidential Council on Democracy and Human Rights to bring together public institutions and civil society to implement human rights reforms.

The Government of Botswana convened political leaders, academics, and civil society throughout the continent to discuss the importance of constitutionalism and term limits as critical components of democratic consolidation.

The Gaborone Declaration in Support of Constitutionalism and Democratic Consolidation commends the peaceful transfer of executive power through credible and inclusive elections and the strengthening of democratic practices in several African countries.

Colombia inaugurated a National Youth Council, which creates an opportunity to cultivate a new generation of democratic leaders by allowing nearly 12 million Colombians to vote for youth representatives at all levels of government.

Nepal issued ordinances strengthening the punishments for perpetrators of acid attacks and rape.

In 2022, Liberia announced a nationwide three-year moratorium on Female Genital Mutilation.

Malawi, Zambia, and Mauritania and others have made strides to enhance human rights protections and inclusive democratic processes.

International peace, security, and prosperity are strengthened when human rights and fundamental freedoms are upheld.

I thank you.