Item 5 General Debate
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council – 52nd Session
Thank you, Madam Vice President.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action. This offers an important opportunity to reflect on our collective work. The United Nations and this Council, together with the principles it is meant to uphold, have never been more important.
Yet the threats to these principles have grown increasingly grave. These threats come not just from those who defy international law by launching wars that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their neighbors, by violently restricting their citizens’ freedom of expression, or by arbitrarily detaining those who defend the rights of others, but also from those who now question the very norms we committed to and agreed upon seventy-five years ago.
In the face of these threats, we must recommit to the UDHR and the VDPA and to the system they represent and of which they are a vital part. This means having the strength to denounce human rights abuses and violations wherever they occur and the candor to admit our own shortcomings along with the willingness to strive to address them.
The United States is proud to have joined many of you here today in issuing a standing invitation to UN thematic mandate holders. In the past two years alone, experts have provided the United States invaluable feedback and recommendations on minority issues, the challenges faced by LGBTQI+ persons, and the importance of access and transparency for UN mandate holders conducting official visits.
We thank these mandate holders, along with all of you who strive to uphold the principles upon which our collective work was founded.
I thank you.