Secretary of State Mike Pompeo affirmed America’s commitment to a foreign policy that honors human dignity and inalienable rights in a speech to the Florida Family Policy Council on Saturday.
The speech touched on a number of topics central to human dignity, including abortion, America’s history of human-rights promotion, and the China challenge.
"If you go back and read the Federalist Papers, it’s pretty clear: Our Founders knew God himself grants all human beings a very essential dignity," Pompeo told listeners. "And we as a nation and our State Department are exceptional because we use our power—our foreign policy power—to honor that dignity, when so many countries choose to execute their power and use their power in far different ways."
Pompeo said the Trump administration’s efforts to align American foreign policy with founding principles related to human dignity have been "unprecedented" in American history across a variety of policy areas.
Under the Trump administration, Washington has abided by the Mexico City Policy, which forbids American funding from going toward any organization funding abortion or family planning abroad.
One such organization is the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which the State Department found complicit in population control measures in China. The 2020 Democratic national platform includes a call to rejoin the UNFPA.
Pompeo cited other examples of pro-life foreign policy under the current administration, including some more directly tied to diplomacy. Pompeo said that by assassinating Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, America has protected the free practice of inalienable rights at home. The recent and historic Abraham Accords were also meant to limit conflict, thereby protecting life, Pompeo added.
As organizations such as the United Nations Human Rights Council catch criticism for their bias against Israel and tolerance of human-rights abuses in other nations, the current administration has developed new ways for countries to implement effective human-rights policy that fits within their own cultures and traditions. One such step toward this end is the report of the State Department's Commission of Unalienable Rights published in July 2020.
Pompeo also argued that the China challenge is a major roadblock in the human-rights agenda. By stifling religious freedom for minority groups within China such as Uighur Muslims or Chinese Christians, the Chinese Communist Party commits "staggering abuses" of religious freedom, Pompeo said.
"We in the Trump administration have spoken up about these abuses," Pompeo said. "We’ve taken action against those responsible. And importantly, we’ve rallied our friends and allies around the world to do the same. We’ve not led from behind—we’ve led from the front on this incredibly important moral issue."