Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with the President of the Human Rights Council (HRC), Ambassador Václav Bálek

Timothy Johnson
U.S. Adviser for the Third Committee
New York, New York
November 1, 2023


Thank you, Mr. Chair, and President Bálek, we greatly appreciate your service this past year. The United States is proud to serve on the Human Rights Council.

Seventy-five years ago, a remarkable multicultural effort by diplomats and thinkers from a diverse group of nations led to the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, the values enshrined in that document are under great strain today.

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine threatens the lives, liberty, and security of countless innocent civilians. In Sudan, a senseless conflict has caused the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, as well as the displacement of over 5 million people.

Rights are also under threat in Burma, Cuba, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. There are well-documented crimes against humanity, genocide, and other human rights abuses and violations perpetrated by the People’s Republic of China against its own citizens. Conditions for members of racial and ethnic minority groups, women and girls, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQI+ people the world over remain precarious.

The Human Rights Council has risen to meet many of these challenges. This year, we renewed the mandates of mechanisms in Ukraine, South Sudan, Syria, and Nicaragua and many Special Rapporteurs.

President Bálek, how can we best ensure the Human Rights Council is able to overcome global divisions to discuss human rights situations wherever they occur?

I thank you.