Statement on the Commemoration of the Emancipation Proclamation

Delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
September 20, 2012

On September 22, the United States will commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln issuing the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

United States Embassies around the world will use this historic occasion to call attention to the fact that modern-day slavery, often referred to as human trafficking, still persists in all regions of the world.  We must do better and live up to our commitments to combat this crime vigorously wherever and whenever it occurs.

The United States appreciates the continuing commitment of the OSCE as a leader in the effort to combat human trafficking in all its forms – in Europe and around the world.  In particular, we commend the extraordinary work of OSCE’s Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Dr. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, whom Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recognized as a hero in the fight against modern day slavery in the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.