September 23, 2010
Human Rights First Praises President Obama's Commitment to U.S. Human Rights Leadership
New York City – Following President Barack Obama's speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Human Rights First's Elisa Massimino issued the following statement: "At a time when many Americans are struggling economically, President Obama made a powerful case for why universal respect for human rights is central to U.S. national interests, and to the peace and security of the world. As the President said, our nation's commitment to human rights is a ‘matter of moral and pragmatic necessity.' Having made that case so clearly, the President then set out concrete commitments about what the United States will stand for around the world—engaging with civil society, condemning those who would restrict free expression, advancing freedom and the space for dissent in the virtual public square, and promoting and expanding the rights of civil society. Each of these commitments will require dedicated attention, fortitude, and action. If the administration can deliver on them, it will mean real change for millions of people at home and around the world, and will go a long way towards re-establishing the United States as a global leader on human rights. We look forward to working with the administration as it sees this mission through."