U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives
EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ESPAŅOL

Report on Actions Taken by U.S. to Encourage Respect for Human Rights Released

Secretary Rice calls defense of human rights a "universal responsibility"

Posted: March 28, 2005

The U.S. Department of State released today its report, Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2004-2005.

In her preface to the report, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that elections in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, among others, demonstrate that citizens around the world are working to live in peaceful, democratic societies.

Rice called the participation of Palestinians, Afghans and Iraqis in elections and the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine “examples of the universal aspiration of all people to make their voices heard and to govern themselves.

“Although individual freedoms and rights can be repressed for a time by authoritarian and corrupt regimes,” she said, “history shows us that progress toward democracy is inevitable and encourages our support of the inalienable rights of freedom-loving people everywhere.”

The congressionally mandated report, issued annually, is a companion to the State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. It reviews U.S. efforts to promote human rights and democracy in 98 countries around the world.

Citing President Bush’s January 20 inaugural address and February 2 State of the Union address, in which he pledged support to countries seeking democratic reform, Rice said that this report describes U.S. democracy and human rights programs that seek to strengthen institutions “that are responsive and accountable to citizens.”

The overall goal of U.S. human rights and democracy policy, she said, is an end to tyranny.

The full report is available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/shrd/2004/

Following is the secretary’s preface to the Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2004-2005 report:

Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2004 – 2005
Released March 28, 2005

Preface

The past year has seen what we hope represents a dramatic shift in the world’s landscape. The participation of Palestinians, Afghans and Iraqis in elections and the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine have been examples of the universal aspiration of all people to make their voices heard and to govern themselves.

Today, more than fifty million people who lived under brutal regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq are on the road to democracy.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is leading his war-torn nation forward, after 23 years of conflict and instability.

Iraq has taken the initial steps to joining the growing community of democracies in the world. In Iraq we witnessed citizens - despite the threat of terrorist violence - voting to ensure their voices were heard for the first time in decades. Elsewhere, Palestinian voters replaced an antiquated leadership with one that seeks peace with its neighbors, and held their first municipal elections since 1976.

In another region of the world, Ukrainians proved that they would not stand for an election to be rigged and stolen. The result ultimately was a presidential election that truly reflected the will of the people.

What these dramatic events graphically illustrate is that citizens of nations around the world share the desire to live in free societies founded on a profound commitment to the dignity of each individual and respect for human rights.

Although individual freedoms and rights can be repressed for a time by authoritarian and corrupt regimes, history shows us that progress toward democracy is inevitable and encourages our support of the inalienable rights of freedom-loving people everywhere.

This volume illustrates our strategy to promote democracy and human rights worldwide in 2004 and 2005, and the policies and programs designed to carry it out. Democracy and governance programs provide technical assistance and other support to strengthen governing capacity and develop democratic states and institutions that are responsive and accountable to citizens. The President recently set forth in his second Inaugural and State of the Union addresses a policy of supporting democratic movements in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

We recognize that each country has a unique history and traditions that will shape its quest for freedom.

Whatever the path or pace, however, the United States is prepared to stand with those who seek freedom for themselves and their fellow citizens.

The defense of human rights is a universal responsibility. We must all be defenders of human rights. I take this opportunity to salute all of those who fight for personal freedom and liberty, wherever you are.

You each play an important role in building a world that respects the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all. Your work is an inspiration to us all.

Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State



 

/ Return to:  Home l Previous page
 
/
Jump to:  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  |  Official Website