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Powell Remarks on Human Rights

Aired March 4, 2002 - 14:39   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Back in this country, live at the State Department we mentioned a few moments ago, the State Department's report is out on human rights abuses and violations around the world. Secretary of State Colin Powell delivering that message now in D.C.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: ... international cooperation against terrorism to establish, expand and deepen discussions with other governments on human rights issues. The United States welcomes the help of any country or party that is genuinely prepared to work with us to eradicate terrorism.

At the same time, we will not relax our commitment to advancing the cause of human rights and democracy. For a world in which men and women of every continent, culture and creed, of every race, religion and region, can exercise their fundamental freedoms is a world in which terrorism cannot thrive.

I'm proud to say that for over a quarter of a century the State Department's country reports on human rights practices have been a key source of information for policy-makers, the press and the public, both here and abroad. We have done our utmost to ensure the accuracy, objectivity and integrity of the reports. The reports speak for themselves.

They also give a voice to the voiceless. They shed cleansing light on the darkest of abuses. And they provide a benchmark for improvement. In short, they are a force for freedom.

With that, I will hand the briefing over to Lorne Craner, the assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, who will take your questions.

Thank you very much.

HEMMER: Colin Powell, secretary of state, delivering the final message there on the State Department's report about the human rights abuses and violations around the world. Specifically, they mention China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, but they say the ousting of the Taliban is quite an accomplishment for human rights worldwide.

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