GENEVA, February 22, 2016 — The Ambassadors of the United States, the Czech Republic and Canada today addressed a room full of human rights victims, dissidents and activists at the opening session of our 2016 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, an event which was sponsored by those governments.

Ambassadors Keith M. Harper, Rosemary McCarney and Jan Kara opened our annual event spotlighting human rights issues from around the world, personally addressing victims or the loved ones of victims of some of the worst abuses being perpetrated today.

Below are some highlights from their introductory remarks:

Ambassador Harper: “We recognize how critically important the work of human rights defenders is…your threats are all too often jailing, torture, seeing your loved ones maltreated or killed. You risk life and limb for freedom… we share the celebration of these courageous opposition figures”

Ambassador McCarney: “Canada is very honored to support human rights victims at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy and provide them with a voice on a global platform”

Ambassador Kara: “The support of civil society and human rights defenders is one of our strategies adopted last year. I wish you and all your colleagues, activists and defenders the needed strength and courage to keep advancing human rights at home and worldwide.”

Information and multimedia on the 2016 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy



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Photos (high resolution)

Facebook Photos (quick uploads)

Blog Post Summaries of the Speeches

Webcast: Live on Feb. 23rd from 9:15 am to 5:30 pm CET at

Videos (to be posted after the panels)

Media Coverage of the Geneva Summit