Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

S. Douglas Bunch
U.S. Public Delegate
New York, New York
October 25, 2022


Every year, tens of thousands of lives are impacted by terrorist violence around the globe. The impacts of terrorism affect everyone — victims and their families most acutely. These are ordinary people who want nothing more than to exercise their freedom to live in peace.

The international community has made great strides in detecting and disrupting terrorist attacks and in crippling terrorist organizations’ ability to plan and operate. Nonetheless, we face a terrorist threat landscape that is increasingly dynamic, fluid, and complex. Terrorist groups are more ideologically diverse and geographically diffuse than ever.

To effectively and sustainably counter terrorism, we must respect the rule of law, human rights, and international humanitarian law, as applicable, and we must use whole-of-society and whole-of-government approaches. We must also work together to adapt and evolve to meet the rising challenges.

The United States supports programs and activities to strengthen our work to protect, promote, and respect the rights and needs of victims of terrorism. We must be mindful that programs to counter violent extremism and to counter terrorism can be abused by governments seeking to suppress the speech and activities of human rights defenders, political activists, journalists, and individuals belonging to traditionally marginalized and vulnerable groups who already face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.

The U.S. government is making serious efforts to transfer eligible detainees out of the Guantánamo facility to bring about a responsible closure to the facility and the era which it represents. We are proud to be among those countries working to live up to their values by taking a transparent approach to closing our detention facility.

Together, we must be alert to instances in which governments, with intent or otherwise, misuse the very systems created to protect their people. Together, we must hold those governments accountable.

Thank you.