Secretary of state Antony Blinken has vowed, turning a page from Donald Trump as he bemoaned deteriorations around the world.
Presenting the state department’s first human rights report under President Joe Biden, the new top US diplomat took some of his most pointed, yet still veiled, swipes at the approach of the Trump administration.
“Some have argued that it’s not worth it for the US to speak up forcefully for human rights – or that we should highlight abuse only in select countries, and only in a way that directly advances our national interests,” Blinken told reporters in clear reference to Trump’s approach.
“But those people miss the point. Standing up for human rights everywhere is in America’s interests,” he said.
“And the Biden-Harris administration will stand against human rights abuses wherever they occur, regardless of whether the perpetrators are adversaries or partners.”
Blinken ordered the return of assessments in the annual report on countries’ records on access to reproductive health, which were removed under the staunchly anti-abortion Trump administration.