Remarks at an Interactive Dialogue with the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ilze Brands Kehris

Carol Hamilton
U.S. Public Delegate
New York, New York
October 13, 2022


The United States thanks the Assistant Secretary-General for her work to promote and protect human rights around the world. We note that the reprisals report will be presented for the first time in Third Committee on October 14 per the Human Rights Council (HRC) biannual resolution last year. We welcome this development that signals the global importance of this report for the United Nations’ work.

We must work to ensure universal human rights have meaning everywhere. The United States is gravely concerned about the human rights situations in Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, Ethiopia, Iran, Syria, and Yemen. We appreciate the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (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 has perpetrated in Xinjiang and their other abuses elsewhere, including extreme restrictions on the exercise of human rights in Tibet and the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy. We call attention to the reports of surveillance, arbitrary detention, torture, forced sterilization measures, forced labor, and many other human rights violations in Tibet documented by OHCHR in its August 31 report on Xinjiang. We call on the PRC to cease committing atrocities, release those arbitrarily detained, abolish its internment camps, account for those disappeared, and allow independent experts unhindered access to Xinjiang.

We also note that Russia’s forces are committing horrific atrocities and abuses in Ukraine. We must call the world’s attention to Russia’s egregious filtration operations, and the reported disappearances, torture, family separation, and forced deportation and killings of Ukrainian civilians, including children. We also note with concern Russia’s intensifying suppression of dissent inside Russia.

We are concerned by the ongoing absence of an independent, international reporting mechanism on human rights violations and abuses in Yemen in the Human Rights Council. We are deeply disappointed that the Core Group flatly rejected our constructive proposals on the Yemen Item 10 resolution. We urge the international community to work together to ensure that a new independent mechanism is reestablished as soon as possible.

How can UN Members best support the High Commissioner’s mission?