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Freedom House Testifies Before U.S. House of Representatives

Jennifer L. Windsor, Executive Director
Freedom House

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July 9, 2003 - Freedom House provides testimony on the State Department's new report, "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy."

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, Freedom House is pleased to testify today on the new report issued by the State Department on “Supporting Human Rights and Democracy.”

The release of this report is an important new initiative. Freedom House has often expressed its concern that in many cases the annual human rights report issued by the State Department does not have a significant impact on U.S. diplomatic and programmatic actions. This report is a critical first step towards addressing that concern.

There is much to commend in the new report. The countries chosen include some of the worst performers in Freedom House’s annual survey of Freedom in the World see: www.freedomhouse.org/research/mrr2003.pdf  It is an impressive compilation of a portion of the work the U.S. government is doing to promote democracy and human rights. The report does not even represent the totality of U.S. efforts, as the U.S. also works to strengthen democracy in many countries that are not being discussed here today.

The range and depth of current U.S. government democracy promotion work is the culmination of efforts by Congress, non-governmental groups and individuals within the State Department and USAID to integrate democracy and human rights concerns into U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance. I would like to recognize the important contributions of two of the leaders within the State Department who are here today, Harold Koh and Lorne Craner, as well as the tireless work of Jerry Hyman, now Director of USAID’s Democracy and Governance Center, who has worked for over a decade on these issues.

Freedom House applauds the Bush Administration for the high priority it has given to the promotion of democracy and human rights in its National Security Strategy, as well as in new initiatives such as the Millennium Challenge Account, and the Middle East Partnership Initiative...

Freedom House Testimony

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July 27, 2003
 

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