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Item 4 General Debate
Statement As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
September 26, 2023

Item 4 General Debate

Human Rights Council – 54th Session

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor

The United States welcomes the work of OHCHR to advance respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms globally.

In Yemen, we continue to call for the unconditional and immediate release of all those unjustly detained, including nine of our Locally Employed U.S. embassy Staff.
In Cambodia, we urge the government to stop the erosion of civic space and to restore a genuine multiparty democracy.

The human rights situation in the DPRK remains abhorrent.  We call on its government to respect human rights and urge states to uphold non-refoulement obligations.

In the PRC, the United States condemns the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, repression of Tibetans’ religious, linguistic, and cultural heritage, and the crackdown on Hong Kong’s promised autonomy and democratic freedom.

We are deeply concerned by the dire humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, which has been exacerbated by Azerbaijan’s recent military actions.  We are extremely troubled by some reports of violence against civilians.

In Belarus, we condemn the regime’s brutal crackdown against the pro-democracy movement. 
In Russia, the Kremlin holds nearly 600 political prisoners, including human rights defenders, pro-democracy activists, and members of religious minority groups, highlighting the need for the Special Rapporteur whose mandate renewal the U.S. strongly supports.

The human rights situations in Syria and Myanmar remain dire.

Iran’s government has responded to its people’s calls for freedom with more repression.

Systemic marginalization and discrimination against women and girls in Afghanistan remain intolerable.

We condemn the ongoing, horrific violations and abuses occurring in Sudan.

In South Sudan, we call for an end to subnational violence, human rights violations and abuses, and the lack of justice and accountability.

In Ethiopia, we are concerned about instability in Amhara and Oromia, along with reports of sexual violence and other atrocities in Tigray.

In Eritrea, we are concerned by ongoing reports of detention of political dissidents, closure of the independent press, limits on civil rights, and allegations of human rights abuses.

The regimes of Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba continue to unjustly detain activists, journalists, and peaceful protestors.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights; we commit to advance equality and dignity for all.

It comes as no surprise that autocratic governments seek to shield their abuses from scrutiny by this Council.  We believe both the OHCHR and this Council have a critical role to play in addressing serious human rights situations whenever and wherever they occur. 

I thank you.