Thank you, Chair.
We gather on this 2021 International Women's Day to honour three women who have devoted their lives to defending human rights, an undertaking that has come with great risk and severe consequences for them and their families. Nonetheless, these extraordinary women have set aside their personal safety for what is right and to make the world a better place.
Honoured recipients, as you continue the struggle despite the tremendous obstacles confronting you, you are a beacon of hope for girls, women and men whose human rights are being violated across the globe. You are role models for other women human rights defenders and for girls who aspire to live in a better world. Your tireless commitment to defending human rights is truly commendable.
While we are here to honour the recipients, I would also like to take a moment to recognize the multitude of human rights defenders whom we are unable to honour today: those who could not accept a reward for fear of retaliation or persecution, and those of whom we are not aware but who continue to work tirelessly and without recognition. It is my hope that your efforts will succeed and that you will serve as an example as well.
For our honoured guests, in giving you this award, the subcommittee wants you to know that your selfless dedication is not going unnoticed. While it is despised by some, it is valued by many, including us, the members of this subcommittee.
Before closing, I want to reiterate what my colleagues have already said. We believe in what you do and stand with you in your defence of human rights.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.