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Interactive Dialogue/Presentation of the Annual Report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
 Joint Statement Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
June 20, 2023

Interactive Dialogue/Presentation of the Annual Report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 

Joint Statement Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor 

Human Rights Council – 53rd Session  

Thank you, Mr. President. 

Mr. High Commissioner, we deliver this statement on behalf of 67 states. 

We begin by recalling the grievous history of destruction of diverse forms of indigenous and local cultures in many parts of the world, policies that have harmed these populations by denying them their beliefs, their history, and their dignity, while impoverishing humankind as a whole. 

International law prohibits discrimination, including that based on religious or ethnic identity, and protects minorities in the enjoyment of their culture, the professing of their religion, and the use of their language. 

Despite these clear obligations, in some parts of the world deplorable human rights violations are being committed against persons belonging to religious, linguistic, national, and ethnic minorities, often with the stated aim of mitigating a perceived security threat.  Government laws and policies specifically restrict and suppress practices that are part of the identity and cultural life of persons belonging to minorities:  authorities destroy cultural heritage sites, cemeteries and places of worship; suppress languages; forcibly assimilate children through the educational system; place severe restrictions on movement; and restrict access to livelihoods, education, and healthcare.  

Mr. High Commissioner, we reiterate the importance of promoting universal respect for human rights.  We call on all governments around the world, including our own government, to uphold their duties and respect the rights of persons belonging to minorities – to allow the culture of ethnic and religious minorities to flourish, and to respect the ability of everyone to worship as they please, to speak the language of their parents, as well as to use their traditional knowledge and to participate in the social institutions of their choice. 

I thank you. 

Signed by:

  1. Albania 
  2. Andorra 
  3. Antigua and Barbuda
  4. Armenia 
  5. Australia 
  6. Austria 
  7. Belgium 
  8. Bosnia  
  9. Bulgaria  
  10. Canada 
  11. Colombia 
  12. Costa Rica 
  13. Croatia  
  14. Czechia 
  15. Cyprus 
  16. Denmark 
  17. Ecuador 
  18. Estonia  
  19. Eswatini 
  20. Fiji 
  21. Finland 
  22. France 
  23. Gambia 
  24. Georgia 
  25. Germany 
  26. Greece 
  27. Guatemala 
  28. Haiti
  29. Honduras  
  30. Hungary 
  31. Iceland 
  32. Ireland 
  33. India 
  34. Israel 
  35. Italy 
  36. Japan 
  37. Korea, Republic of 
  38. Latvia 
  39. Lebanon 
  40. Liberia 
  41. Liechtenstein 
  42. Lithuania 
  43. Luxembourg 
  44. Malta 
  45. Marshall Islands 
  46. Moldova 
  47. Monaco 
  48. Montenegro 
  49. Morocco 
  50. Netherlands 
  51. New Zealand 
  52. North Macedonia 
  53. Norway 
  54. Paraguay  
  55. Poland 
  56. Portugal  
  57. Romania 
  58. San Marino  
  59. Slovakia 
  60. Slovenia 
  61. Spain 
  62. Sweden 
  63. Switzerland 
  64. Ukraine 
  65. United Kingdom 
  66. United States 
  67. Vanuatu