For Immediate Release
February 26, 2004
From the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2003, released by the State Department, 2/25/04
"America will always stand firm for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity: the rule of law; limits on the power of the state; respect for women; private property; free speech; equal justice; and religious tolerance." --President Bush, 1/29/02
The expansion of democracy and respect for human rights throughout the world is at the core of U.S. foreign policy.
It is a commitment inspired by our country's founding values and our enduring strategic interests.
We are helping the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, long oppressed by despotic leaders, to establish the rule of law, guarantee basic freedoms, and build democratic institutions.
Those seeking freedom in the Middle East can count on the same support long provided to Latin Americans, Central Europeans, Asians, Africans and others.
The Millennium Challenge Account will provide another vehicle for reducing the gap between human rights ideals and actual practices around the world.
Nations that invest in their people's education and health, promote economic freedoms, and govern justly will be rewarded.
These efforts to advance freedom have been enhanced by partnerships with members of the Community of Democracies, an organization composed mainly of nations that have made the transition from dictatorship to democracy.
The United States stands ready to work with other governments to prevent abuses of power that can have devastating consequences.