Joint Statement on the Principles of the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations – United States Department of State


The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of Canada, Costa Rica, Malawi, and the United States.

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Today, endorsers of the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations gathered during High-Level Week of the United Nations General Assembly’s 78th session to reaffirm our pledge to enhance international cooperation and end the practice of arbitrary arrest, detention or sentencing aimed at exercising leverage over foreign governments.

This High-Level Dialogue, co-hosted by Canada, Costa Rica, Malawi and the United States, reaffirms the international community’s commitment to addressing the urgent issue of arbitrary detention in state-to-state relations.

Recognizing that this issue transcends geographic boundaries, we stand in solidarity with the victims, survivors and families who have endured this disturbing practice, which flagrantly violates the human rights of all those affected.

This practice also undermines international peace, security and trade. Threatening any citizen of any country who travels and works abroad is harmful to travel, trade and the principles that underpin friendly relations and cooperation between peoples and countries.

This is also a matter of the rule of law. Arbitrary detention for diplomatic leverage subverts international human rights and the independence of judicial processes while undermining our shared values. As a global community, we must stand against it.

As we approach the declaration’s third anniversary in February 2024, let us all be reminded to uphold our commitments and strengthen our partnership through multilateral and bilateral channels.

Let us also remain committed to taking concerted and collective action to deter and prevent this unacceptable practice, to protect every citizen and to reinforce the rules-based international order.

Support for the declaration and the global movement condemning the practice continues to grow. We invite countries who have not yet endorsed the declaration to join us in demonstrating a global commitment to strengthening the rule of law and the respect for human rights that form the basis of this important initiative.

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