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Closing Statement by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
United States Periodic Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
October 18, 2023

Closing Statement by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
Permanent Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council, U.S. Department of State

at the U.S. Presentation to the Human Rights Committee concerning the U.S. Review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

As Submitted for the Record

Madam Chairperson, distinguished members of the committee, representatives of civil society, and my colleagues, thank you for the important dialogue we have shared over the last two days.

It has been my honor to lead the U.S. delegation and to share this dais with Mr. Justin Vail, the Special Assistant to President Biden for Democracy and Civic Participation on the Domestic Policy Council, Ambassador Robert Gilchrist, the State Department’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and my acting Deputy Permanent Representative, Branka Bell.

The composition of our delegation and our engagement with the Committee are a true indication of the seriousness with which the United States takes our obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

We, as a delegation, and the Biden/Harris Administration as a whole, are committed to, and passionate about, respecting and protecting the rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, without distinction of any kind.

As I said yesterday in my opening remarks, our commitment to the ICCPR is a moral imperative at the very heart of our democracy and our pursuit of a more perfect union. I sit in this remarkable room on a regular basis representing the United States at the Human Rights Council. Just as we have during this dialogue, the United States leads by example through our transparency, openness, and humble approach to our own Human Rights challenges.

You heard over the past two days about many of the concrete ways we are meeting our obligations under the Convention, and you also heard our pledge to do more. The standards we set for ourselves and strive to achieve, centered on robust Civil Society engagement, are a cornerstone of the strength of our nation.

We are grateful for the many thoughtful and probing questions from this Committee which we recognize were also informed by the critical contributions of civil society. Their engagement with us, not just this week but through months of consultations and continuous dialogue, and the shadow reports submitted to this Committee, have sharpened our focus on these very challenging issues that are of pressing concern to us all. I recognize that the topics raised are often painful for all of us to discuss and I am grateful to everyone in this room, committee members, civil society, and members of my delegation for your participation.

In closing, as I said at the outset, we take great pride in our strides forward and acknowledge our areas for improvement. The United States is dedicated to that task; it is at the core of who we are as a nation.

Thank you.