U.S. Deputy Representative to the Economic and Social Council
New York, New York
October 31, 2022
We thank the High Commissioner for this update and welcome him in his new role. As Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said, the role of the high commissioner for human rights is one of the most critical high-level positions in the UN system. At a time when human rights are increasingly under attack, the High Commissioner’s responsibility must be to call out human rights violations and abuses wherever they occur, and to serve as an independent, impartial, and unwavering champion for human rights everywhere.
The United States is gravely concerned about the human rights situations in Belarus, Burma, Ethiopia, Iran, and Syria, and will address those situations in greater detail during the session. We appreciate OHCHR’s efforts to document abuses in these contexts and support human rights defenders.
The United States strongly condemns the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has perpetrated in Xinjiang and their other abuses elsewhere, including extreme restrictions on the exercise of human rights in Tibet, as well as the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy. We call attention to the reports of arbitrary detention, torture, and other human rights violations in Xinjiang documented by OHCHR on August 31. The OHCHR report concludes that the extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention “may constitute … crimes against humanity.” We call on the PRC immediately to cease committing atrocities, release those unjustly or arbitrarily detained, account for the fate of those disappeared, and allow independent experts unhindered access to Xinjiang.
Russia’s forces are committing horrific atrocities and abuses. We must call the world’s attention to Russia’s egregious filtration operations, and the reported disappearances, torture, family separation, and forced deportation of Ukrainian civilians, including children. We also note with concern Russia’s intensifying suppression of dissent inside Russia.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban have implemented repressive edicts restricting Afghan women and girls from participating in public life, effectively barring access to employment, education, and essential services. We appreciate OHCHR’s documentation of the Taliban’s abuses and engagement with Afghan civil society as they work to advance respect for the human rights of all persons in Afghanistan.
In Venezuela, we appreciate OHCHR’s documentation of ongoing human rights violations and abuses and call on the authorities to release arbitrarily detained persons.
In Yemen, the truce has brought tangible benefits to the Yemeni people and saved hundreds of lives.