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Moments of Silence at the Human Rights Council
October 9, 2023

Statements by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
U.S. Permanent Representative to the Human Rights Council

Monday, October 9, 2023

Mr. President, distinguished delegates, colleagues, friends,

I sit before you today, representing the United States of America with a heavy heart, following the horrific attacks carried out by Hamas terrorists on Israeli civilians starting on October 7, 2023. The calamity of that day and the days since has seen hundreds and hundreds of innocent civilian lives lost, and we are still counting, thousands injured, and more than one hundred people kidnapped from Israel by terrorists, including innocent men, women, children, persons with disabilities, and elderly individuals.

The United States unequivocally condemns these heinous acts of terrorism. We extend our deepest condolences to the families affected and express our solidarity with the people and government of Israel in these trying times.

At this solemn juncture, I respectfully request a moment of silence from this esteemed Council and all present here today, to honor and remember the victims of these appalling terrorist attacks: those we know about and those we have yet to discover, innocent lives lost across Israel and Gaza resulting from the attacks by Hamas, all those who are held hostage, and all those who are and will yet be affected. As we stand in silence, let us reaffirm our collective commitment to promoting peace, justice, and human rights across the globe, and let our silence resound as a united stand against terrorism and violence.

I kindly ask everyone who is able to now stand and observe a moment of silence.

Thank you.


Mr. President, I would also like to request a moment of silence for the victims of the recent devastating earthquake in Afghanistan. Our hearts go out to the families affected by this natural calamity.

I kindly ask everyone who is able to now stand and observe a moment of silence.

Thank you.