Friday, August 14, 2009

From Remarks by Assistant Secretary of State Esther Brimmer

"We were pleased and deeply honored to win a seat on the Human Rights Council itself, and we pledge to be strong advocates of the principles that President Obama outlined yesterday.

"Those principles which are clearly articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are also rooted in ideals that we share in the United States and that we continue to try to realize. Sometimes painfully. Sometimes with difficulty. But succeeding generations of Americans have addressed these issues.

"We realize, as the phrase is used, that it’s been a long time coming. Some of the issues we’ve discussed today reveal the long distance we still have to travel before we can rest. While the U.S. treasures its freedoms, embraces its rich diversity and celebrates its history of struggle and progress, we know the struggle continues.

"In joining the Human Rights Council we accept a role in reshaping and help direct the Council, along with other members. We also know that it’s been too often distracted by attention to a single conflict and too often has not been able to address all the issues of genuine international human rights concern."

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