Today, as we celebrate International Human Rights Day, the United States Agency for International Development reaffirms its commitment to a world that protects human rights, celebrates human rights defenders, and holds accountable those who abuse human rights. We also honor the bravery of activists, human rights defenders, and peaceful protestors, who promote freedom, justice, equality and equity, and the rule of law despite severe risks to their own lives, rights, and freedoms. The United States believes that human rights are essential to build a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous world.
Defending human rights is one of the fundamental challenges of our time. Today is the second day of President Biden’s Summit for Democracy, bringing together global democratic leaders from government, civil society, activist movements, and the private sector from more than 100 countries to encourage meaningful democratic reforms and tackle emerging threats that erode human rights, like digital repression and disinformation. We remain steadfast in our belief that strengthening democracy is the best and most powerful means we have to meet the challenges of our age, unleash our full human potential, and protect the rights and dignity of all people, especially the most marginalized.
In the weeks and months ahead, USAID will seize the opportunity presented by the Summit to further engage and support courageous activists, journalists, and human rights defenders who are the cornerstone of democracy. We reaffirm our commitment to protect these individuals as targeted violence and hostility against them continues to increase around the world. Together, we will respond to novel challenges that erode human rights, while working to uphold the dignity for each individual.