Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
September 8, 2021
Thank you very much, and thank you to the organizers for organizing this important event. And I’m delighted to be here with you today.
From the first sentence of the UN Charter, the foundational unit of the United Nations is not just the nation state, but also the human being. And as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes clear, every human being is born free and equal in dignity and rights. But too often, our inalienable rights are seen as optional aspirations.
Systemic racism, regular targeting of the LGBTQIA+ community, and persistent discrimination against religious minorities, people with disabilities, indigenous people, and women and girls continues in every country around the world. Including mine.
The United States is committed to meeting our human rights obligations and ending discrimination in all its forms. We don’t profess to be a perfect union. But our goal is to get more perfect, more just, each and every day.
If elected as a member of the Human Rights Council, we will work to advance human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, and push back against blatant attempts to subvert the values upon which the UN is founded. Every individual is endowed with inalienable human rights, and states are obliged to protect those rights.
If elected, the United States will work with the international community, including civil society, to make sure states do their duty, defend fundamental freedoms everywhere, and promote human rights for all.