Remarks at a Third Committee General Discussion on Human Rights

Ambassador Lisa Carty
U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council
New York, New York
October 20, 2022


Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States welcomes this opportunity for a general discussion on human rights across the globe. We underscore the importance the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, and the rights enshrined in the International Covenants. The United States is committed to working multilaterally to address human rights crises and advance respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide.

Russia’s war against Ukraine is a test of the fundamental principles the United Nations was founded on. We must collectively and firmly defend the Charter and hold Russia accountable, calling on Russia with a unified voice to stop its attack on a sovereign country. We must call out Russia’s war crimes, other atrocities, and abuses, including its filtration operations, which reportedly include detentions, abuses, forced deportations, killings of Ukrainian civilians, and separation of Ukrainian children from their families.

Another test of the UN system and our collective resolve to uphold the UN Charter and respect for human rights is in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), where the PRC government is perpetrating genocide in Xinjiang, severe repression against Tibetans and their distinct religious, linguistic, and cultural identity, undermining fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong, and imposing draconian controls on freedom of expression and other human rights across the country. All UN members should be outraged by the serious human rights violations described by the Office of the High Commissioner in its report on the human rights situation in Xinjiang.

In Syria, victims and families of the missing and forcibly disappeared have suffered for over a decade. The UN Syria Commission of Inquiry (COI) has documented a worsening human rights situation for many Syrians due to targeted killings, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, siege-like tactics that may rise to collective punishment, hostage-taking, and torture. We welcome the Secretary General’s report and support the call to strengthen existing measures and to establish a new UN mechanism focused on clarifying the fate and whereabouts of missing persons.

In Iran, we condemn the use of violence against peaceful protestors and support all Iranians who are peacefully demonstrating to secure their human rights and fundamental freedoms in the face of horrific repression. We deplore the abhorrent death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody. Iranian women should not be subject to arrest or detention, let alone violence and beatings, for how they choose to dress. We also condemn the Internet shutdowns and efforts to limit Iranians’ ability to communicate as well as its targeted online harassment of protestors.

In Venezuela, we appreciate OHCHR’s documentation of ongoing human rights abuses and call on the authorities to release arbitrarily detained or missing persons, cease subjecting detained persons to torture or other ill treatment, and to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for these and other human rights violations and abuses. We are pleased by the renewal of the Fact-Finding Mission. OHCHR and the FFM play a vital role in the international community’s efforts to hold the regime accountable and provide a much-needed voice for Venezuelan victims.

We express concern about restrictions on the full spectrum of human rights, including the freedom of expression; the failure to pursue accountability for violations and abuses; and hostile environments for human rights defenders in Afghanistan, Burma, Cuba, the DPRK, Eritrea, Iran, South Sudan, Sudan, and Syria.

The United States is also concerned by widespread use of laws that restrict freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association and are being used to detain activists and outspoken critics of governments around the world, including in, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.