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Video: Blinken Stresses the Importance of Human Rights at U.N. Meeting

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Blinken Stresses the Importance of Human Rights at U.N. Meeting

At a United Nations Security Council meeting on Friday, with counterparts from both China and Russia, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said that the U.S. would not tolerate nations that break international rules, including the violation of human rights.

Some argue that what governments do within their own borders is their own business, and that human rights are subjective values that vary from one society to another. But the Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins with the word universal because our nations agreed there are certain rights to which every person, everywhere, is entitled. Asserting domestic jurisdiction doesn’t give any state a blank check to enslave, torture, disappear, ethnically cleanse their people or violate their human rights in any other way. The United Nations is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of its member states. The state does not respect that principle when it purports to redraw the borders of another or seeks to resolve territorial disputes by using or threatening force, or when a state claims it’s entitled to a sphere of influence to dictate or coerce the choices and decisions of another country. And a state shows contempt for that principle when it targets another with disinformation or weaponized corruption, undermines other countries free and fair elections and democratic institutions, or goes after journalists or dissidents abroad. These hostile actions can also threaten the international peace and security that the United Nations charter obliges this body to maintain.

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