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Item 4 General Debate
Statement by Ambassador Michèle Taylor at the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council
March 22, 2023

Item 4 General Debate

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As delivered by Ambassador Taylor

Human Rights Council – 52nd Session

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is critical that this Council defend those rights wherever they are threatened.

This Council must stand with the people of Ukraine and condemn violations and abuses of human rights, war crimes, and crimes against humanity committed by Russian forces and officials in Ukraine.

In October, many of us on this Council expressed deep concern about the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, as have been detailed in the High Commissioner’s assessment and by numerous special procedures, independent media, and academic researchers. We must maintain focus on these atrocities as well as abuses in other parts of the PRC, including Hong Kong and Tibet, and call upon High Commissioner Türk to address them.

In Belarus, the regime unjustly holds more than 1400 political prisoners in horrid conditions, reportedly subjecting them to severe abuses simply for exercising fundamental freedoms.

Since September, we have all borne witness to the Iranian authorities’ violent suppression of dissent and peaceful protests, led by the women, girls, and youth of Iran, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests. We call on the regime to cease its politically motivated detentions, sham trials [without fair trial guarantees], unjust death sentences, and abuses against those arrested in connection to protests.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the Taliban’s over 80 edicts restricting the rights of Afghans, most of which systematically target women and girls. Afghanistan cannot succeed when half of its population is erased from public life.

The Cuban government continues to detain more than 700 protestors for criticizing their government’s failure to respect human rights. We call on the Cuban government to release these prisoners and allow its people their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as recognized in the UDHR.

Tragically, this March marks the twelfth year in Syria since the regime’s violent repression of peaceful protests, including the use of chemical weapons and the continued unjust detention of tens of thousands. The United States will continue to demand accountability and justice for the Syrian people.

The human rights situations in the DPRK, South Sudan, Eritrea, Venezuela, and Myanmar including the genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated against Rohingya, also demand this Council’s urgent and ongoing attention.

I thank you.