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Item 9 General Debate on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Forms of Intolerance
Statement As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
October 6, 2023

Item 9 General Debate on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Forms of Intolerance, Follow-up and Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

Human Rights Council – 54th Session

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor

Thank you, Madam Vice President.

The United States is deeply committed to advancing racial equity and justice and to combatting racism, racial and ethnic discrimination, religious hatred, xenophobia, and injustice wherever these occur. As President Biden has said repeatedly: “Advancing equity is not a one-year project. It is a generational commitment.”

The United States remains committed to working with UN Mandate Holders on racial justice issues. In 2021, we hosted a country visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues. This year, we hosted the Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement, whose establishment we strongly supported.

When Secretary of State Blinken announced our return to the Human Rights Council, he said, “We are eager to find a more effective and inclusive way to put ‘fighting racism’ at the top of the global human rights agenda.” We continue working to make good on this pledge, including through the work of our Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice.

The United States strongly supported the establishment of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent.

And last year, President Biden announced the creation of the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States, which will work to advance equity and opportunity for African diaspora communities and will strengthen cultural, social, political, and economic ties between African communities, the global African diaspora, and the United States.

We celebrate the progress we have made to date and know there is a great deal more to be done. We must address systemic racism and inequalities for underserved communities in access to justice, health care, housing, services, and work. We must confront hate speech, cultural repression, and the unequal effects of environmental degradation.

We must also recognize that we can’t address one form of hate at the expense of another. The many forms of hate, including racism and antisemitism, are interconnected. Only when countered together, in solidarity, can our efforts be truly effective, much as was expressed in the Joint Statement read by the Netherlands.

Great nations do not hide from their shortcomings. They acknowledge them, openly confronting and addressing both past and present.

In this commitment, the United States believes in the enlightenment that comes from willful evaluation, for truth knows NO sides. We must listen to all voices and address past wrongs in the pursuit of becoming a more perfect union. In so doing, we strengthen our democracy and our societies and champion human rights defenders everywhere.

I thank you.