Panel Debate Racial Discrimination
Statement by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
Human Rights Council – 52nd Session
Thank you, Mr. Vice President and thank you to the distinguished panelists.
The United States remains firmly committed to countering racial discrimination and injustice.
We feel strongly about this not only because it is a moral imperative, but also in part because of our own long and painful history of racial discrimination. We don’t shy away from this issue. Instead, we confront it directly by acknowledging our challenges, listening to our citizens, inviting independent expert advice, and working to improve the lives of racial and ethnic minority groups.
Through the implementation of landmark legislation and historic executive actions, the United States is working to better serve all of our people.
Despite this progress, the reality is that certain racial minorities, many of whom have endured generations of discrimination and disinvestment, still confront unacceptable barriers to equal opportunity.
To strengthen our government’s ability to address these barriers, President Biden signed an Executive Order on February 16th that reaffirms the United States’ commitment to deliver equity and to build an America in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.
Here at the UN, the U.S. has extended a standing invitation to all thematic Special Procedures Mandate Holders. Inviting these mandate holders is both crucial to our improvement and our responsibility, particularly as a member of the HRC. We look forward to welcoming the International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the context of Law Enforcement for their first country visit next month.
We will continue to work with civil society, international mechanisms, and all nations to counter racism and racial discrimination at home and abroad. We also look forward to the upcoming Permanent Forum on Persons of African Descent in New York this May, of which the United States is a proud champion. We were the only country that made a voluntary contribution to support the historic launch of the Permanent Forum last year.
As President Biden has said: “Advancing equity is not a one-year project. It is a generational commitment.” Today, we recommit ourselves to the goal of racial justice and advancing equity for all of our citizens. We call on all countries to join us in doing the same.
I thank you.