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

Jason Mack
Counselor for Economic and Social Affairs
New York, New York
October 27, 2021


Thank you, Assistant Secretary-General Brands Kehris, for your work to promote and protect human rights around the world.

The United States is alarmed by the military take-over of the transitional government in Sudan. This contravenes the Constitutional Declaration and the democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people and is utterly unacceptable.

We are concerned by reports of reprisals against persons cooperating with the United Nations on human rights matters occurring in 45 countries around the world, including: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Belarus, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Iran, Nicaragua, Russia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Venezuela, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

We share your concern regarding the trend of States justifying blocking civil society’s access to the work of the UN, including by using counterterrorism, internet security, and the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to stifle civil society.

We strongly encourage States to promote and support civil society’s ability to safely cooperate with the UN. We regret attempts by States to block or delay the accreditation of civil society representatives.

Separately, we note our disappointment that the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen was not renewed during the 48th Human Rights Council session. We urge OHCHR to increase reporting on human rights violations in Yemen until a new independent reporting mechanism is put in place.

Assistant Secretary-General: How can States better address the risks to human rights defenders emerging through digital surveillance and online attacks?