Statement of Ambassador Pommersheim on the Release of the Human Rights Report

The United States works to advance and support human rights throughout the world. Our annual Human Rights Report assesses the human rights situation in every country and can serve as a guide to focus the attention of human rights defenders everywhere to work together to promote fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

For the past 29 years, the United States has worked with Tajikistan to improve local governance and democratic systems. We have supported projects that educate the public about their rights, trained attorneys, judges, and prosecutors, and recognized activists and journalists who advance the cause of human rights.

Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948, there have been countless achievements in expanding human rights protections around the world. There have also been serious setbacks. In many countries, there remain prisoners of conscience, arbitrary arrests, unfair trials, torture, groups that face discrimination, limits on free speech, and political systems that prevent real democratic representation.

As Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently pointed out, the United States confronts its own imperfections. We make mistakes and we occasionally take steps back. But throughout our history, we have faced those challenges openly instead of trying to ignore them. We constantly seek solutions to our problems in coordination with civil society and through the democratic process. The United States continues to address these challenges at home and remains committed to working with partners around the world to help them in this struggle.

This annual report is an opportunity to have a dialogue on this topic, and to identify areas we can work together to protect our universal human rights. Together we can build a better society for ourselves and our children.