Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ilze Brands Kehris – Reprisals Report

Andrew Weinstein
Public Delegate
New York, New York
October 14, 2022


The United States thanks the Assistant Secretary-General for her work to promote and protect human rights. We condemn efforts to repress the voices of civil society, including reprisals against human rights defenders when they engage with the United Nations.

We note that the Assistant Secretary’s report includes 42 countries where civil society has faced intimidation online and offline including threats, restrictive legislation, surveillance, and cyber-attacks. The instances of online intimidation were particularly troubling as civil society and member states have depended on virtual platforms during the COVID 19 pandemic.

The Assistant Secretary-General also notes that members of vulnerable groups, including women human rights defenders and peacebuilders are particularly at risk of threats, harassment and sexual violence offline and online. This is unacceptable; the world needs to hear the voices of civil society as we work together to address human rights and security crises. We call on the UN and Member States to promote and support civil society’s ability to engage.

We ask: How can member states enhance measures to hold accountable state actors who block civil society’s access to the UN?