Chers invités du Ministère de la Communication et de l’Ordre des journalistes, chers membres du groupe de travail sur les droits humains, bonjour. Je tenais à venir vous saluer et vous souhaiter la bienvenue personnellement lors de cette session spéciale du Groupe de travail sur les droits humains, portant sur la liberté de la presse. J’ai beaucoup entendu parler des efforts de ce groupe, créé il y a déjà presque vingt ans.
I consider the democracy and governance work that we do, and especially with this group, to be among our most important initiatives in Madagascar.
Civil society, including the press, has a critical role to play in ensuring that Madagascar remains firmly on the path to democracy and that respect for human rights represents a critical component of this journey. Through your active and independent participation, you are the credible voice of Malagasy civil society and it is important that this voice be heard.
Our mission echoes your concerns on the human rights situation in Madagascar, as highlighted annually by the State Department’s Human Rights Reports, which also forms the basis of our engagement with your government on human rights.
You are the pillars of your country and I will remain personally interested in your progress on various issues, ranging from human trafficking to child labor, rule of law, and the issue of press freedom, which we have gathered here today to discuss.
We remain partners in support of human rights and human dignity, and I am honored to be a colleague, with you, in this important domain.
Thank you for your continued dedication to this group and for being here today. Please know that the United States Embassy is always welcome to you, and we know that you welcome us – equally so.