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Interactive Dialogue with OHCHR Item 6 General Debate
Statement As Delivered by Branka Bell
October 3, 2023

Interactive Dialogue with OHCHR Item 6 General Debate

Human Rights Council – 54th Session

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Branka Bell

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States strongly supports the value of the UPR process, which gives every country the opportunity to carefully consider their own human rights record in consultation with their civil society, national, and local government institutions and to benefit from the recommendations and experience of the global community.

During the United States’ November 2020 UPR review, we listened to all of the recommendations with an open mind and accepted more than 80 percent of them. This demonstrates, as President Biden has said, that we continually renew our commitment to improve respect for democracy and human rights in the United States and around the world. We believe that our global efforts are strengthened by the work we do at home.

We received over 75 recommendations for the United States to take measures to combat structural discrimination, including on the bases of race and ethnicity. The United States is committed to combatting systemic racism, discrimination, and xenophobia both at home and abroad, including the structures, policies, laws, and practices that sustain racial injustices.

The United States has enacted a range of Executive Orders and programs since our last UPR review that serve to advance racial equity and justice in areas such as healthcare, immigration, criminal justice, voting, housing, education, and gender-based violence. These efforts address inequalities affecting marginalized racial, ethnic, and Indigenous communities, including people of African descent.

In January 2021, the President signed executive orders establishing that advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity is the responsibility of the whole United States government. Those orders provide for the disproportionate and severe effects of COVID-19 on communities of color and other underserved populations to be recognized and addressed throughout our national strategy to treat, prevent, and mitigate the broader ramifications of the disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Building Resilience Against Climate Effects framework identifies at-risk communities and incorporates justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion into climate adaption planning agencies.

These are but a few of the initiatives highlighted in our presentation to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 2022 and our recent follow-up report.

The United States urges all UN member states to engage in earnest with UPR recommendations and thus ensure the UPR remains an invaluable tool to advance the promotion and protection of human rights.

I thank you.