Response to the Report by ODIHR Director

Response to the Report by ODIHR Director

As delivered by Ambassador Michael Carpenter
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
March 24, 2022

Thank you, Mr. Chair

Director Mecacci, dear Matteo, welcome back to the Permanent Council.  I can’t stress enough how much the United States appreciates ODIHR’s quick action in Ukraine, both in support of the Moscow Mechanism Experts as well as ODIHR’s own human rights monitoring.  ODIHR has a long, respected history of promoting and supporting human rights and it is vital that it make use of that expertise to document the human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including all possible war crimes, associated with Russia’s war on Ukraine.  Those individuals who are responsible will be held accountable – at all levels.  We owe it to the victims and as a means of preventing future atrocities.

The United States is also proud to support your efforts across the OSCE region to strengthen democratic institutions, election processes, the rule of law, inclusive and resilient societies, and tolerance, because all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  I’m happy to say the United States will continue to support a robust budget for ODIHR that advances OSCE principles and commitments, which are under greater threat now than ever before.  

As Putin’s brutal war of choice rages on in Ukraine, we are reminded of the importance of human rights as a pillar of our Organization’s comprehensive concept of security and the indispensable role of your institution in helping participating States meet our international law obligations and OSCE commitments.  The United States will continue to be a stalwart supporter and defender of ODIHR’s mandate and independence.    

Thank you, Mr. Chair.