Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with the Acting Chair of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Edward Heartney
Counselor for ECOSOC
New York, New York
October 18, 2022


The United States thanks the Acting Chair and the Committee on Enforced Disappearances for its work. Too often, ordinary people are forcibly disappeared and vanish without a trace after being arrested, detained, or abducted by government officials or those acting with their tacit assent.

The United States strongly condemns the arbitrary detention or disappearance of over 152,000 persons in Syria. We call on all parties for the unconditional, immediate, and humane release of these individuals.

We remain gravely concerned by the People’s Republic of China government’s repression of predominantly Muslim Uyghurs, ethnic Kyrgyz, ethnic Kazakh, and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang, including forcibly disappearing members of these groups.

We are gravely concerned by robust, credible evidence that Russian authorities are reportedly detaining or disappearing thousands of Ukrainian civilians, including children.

We are deeply concerned about the Iranian government’s reported use of enforced disappearances to punish Iranians for exercising their rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

Governments must put an end to enforced disappearances, hold accountable those responsible, and reveal the fate or whereabouts of loved ones who have been disappeared.

And finally, I would like to end with a question: What further steps can the international community take to encourage governments to respond promptly and fully to reports of enforced disappearances?