Remarks at a Third Committee General Discussion on Racism

Nicholas Hill
U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council
New York, New York
October 31, 2022


The United States joins and supports the joint statement read by Canada on behalf of 50 states regarding ongoing human rights violations in Xinjiang, China.

Inequity, injustice, discrimination, and intolerance are threats to democracy, sustainable development, and global stability. The deeply rooted legacies of racism and racial discrimination run deep and span centuries, and no country is immune to this reality — including our own.

We acknowledge that our leadership on human rights issues, especially on issues of racial justice, must begin at home for us to be credible champions abroad. Our country’s greatest strength is and always has been our diversity. That is why promoting racial equity and justice is a top priority for the Biden Administration, as demonstrated by our efforts to advance racial equity and support for underserved communities; implement civil rights protections related to use of emerging technologies; promote health equity; enhance voting access; ensure equitable implementation of infrastructure investments; and advance environmental justice.

In August, the United States presented its periodic report to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva. The report highlighted our many actions across our entire government to address racial and ethnic discrimination in the United States.

Our domestic efforts are matched by our foreign policy. Secretary Blinken appointed the Department of State’s first Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice to lead efforts to advance the human rights of persons belonging to marginalized racial and ethnic communities, including Indigenous communities, and combat systemic racism, discrimination, violence, and xenophobia around the world. The United States strongly supported the establishment of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent and the International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Equality and Justice in Law Enforcement.

In addition to our standing invitation to all Human Rights Council Special Procedures thematic mandate holders, the United States also recently extended invitations to the International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Equality and Justice in Law Enforcement and to the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent for official visits in spring 2023. We look forward to these visits as well as to continuing constructive dialogue and engagement with all special procedures on the critical issues of racial equity and justice.

Responsible nations must not shrink from scrutiny of their human rights record; rather, they should acknowledge it with the intent to improve. We urge all UN member states to join the United States in this effort, and confront the scourge of racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia. Because when all people — regardless of their race or ethnicity — are free to live up to their full potential, our collective security is strengthened.