General Debate on Item 9 – Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council – 52nd Session
Thank you, Madam Vice President.
The United States remains committed to advancing racial equity and justice in our foreign and domestic policy and to countering racial discrimination and injustice whenever and wherever they occur.
The Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity, signed by President Biden on his first day in office, notes that “Equal opportunity is the bedrock of American democracy, and our diversity is one of our country’s greatest strengths. But for too many, the American Dream remains out of reach.”
Over the course of generations, structures, policies, and practices have contributed to wealth gaps, health disparities, and inequalities of access, which disproportionately affect people of color. We can and must do more to remedy these inequalities.
Federal agencies have taken steps over the past two years to ensure that federal programs better serve the American people in an equitable and just manner, including supporting communities that have historically been locked out of opportunity.
The United States is working to make real its promises of hope and opportunity for everyone through the implementation of landmark legislation and historic executive actions. These efforts are particularly geared toward including rural communities, communities of color, Tribal communities, LGBTQI+ individuals, people with disabilities, women and girls, and communities affected by persistent poverty.
Continuing and strengthening the federal government’s ability to address barriers to equal opportunity, President Biden signed another relevant Executive Order on February 16 of this year. This second executive order requires federal agencies to improve the quality, frequency, and accessibility of their engagement with underserved communities; invests in and improves economic opportunity in rural and urban communities; and addresses emerging civil rights risks.
In the wake of the tragic and horrific death of Tyre Nichols, President Biden underscored that we must do everything in our power to ensure that our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all. Real and lasting change will only come if we take action to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again. It is in this spirit that we look forward to welcoming the International Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equity in the Context of Law Enforcement this Spring for its first-ever country visit.
To paraphrase a great American, Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, true racial equity cannot be reached without significant changes in the structure of society.
The United States is committed to that process and I hope that you can all agree to do the same.
I thank you.