Today begins the UN Human Rights Council’s 52nd regular session. The United States returned to the body in January 2022 as a full member, fulfilling a pledge made by President Biden and reflecting the centrality of human rights and multilateralism to our nation’s foreign policy.
This year marks 75 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 30 years since the adoption of the Vienna Declaration – two milestone documents that continue to guide the work of the Council.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will deliver video remarks to the assembled Human Rights Council and will use that opportunity to reiterate that human rights are universal, and we must continue to advance economic, social, and cultural rights abroad and at home.
Rarely has there been a time when delivering on our commitment to human rights has been more urgent. The challenges are many and include Russia continuing its brutal war of aggression and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, abhorrent Taliban repression of women and girls, and the People’s Republic of China’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang. Furthermore, the repression against peaceful protestors in Iran, particularly women and girls, must stop. Iranians have the right to freedom and justice. On all of these abuses and more, we must act with renewed vigor. Now more than ever, the Council must continue to do what is necessary to uphold the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The world is watching.
U.S. Ambassador and Representative to the UN Human Rights Council Michèle Taylor will head the U.S. delegation at this session. Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Acting Assistant Secretary Erin Barclay will join the delegation in Geneva February 27-March 1 for meetings with high-level counterparts and international humanitarian partners.