New resolution on Human Rights Defenders

HRdefenders

A year after the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, Norway will introduce a General Assembly resolution focusing on implementation. Protection as well as creating a safe and enabling environment is key for human rights defenders.

The resolution on Human Rights Defenders will be presented in the United Nations General Assembly’s Third Committee this fall. Norway resumes the role as facilitator for this biennial resolution.

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Read the Zero Draft of the resolution: Implementing the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (.pdf)

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, also known as Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The General Assembly held a high-level anniversary meeting 18 December 2018, which confirmed the important contribution of human rights defenders to the protection of human rights, development and peace.

‘It is important to support human rights defenders currently facing unprecedented pressure. We hope the UN will pass a strong resolution that clearly recognizes the need to step up the implementation of the Declaration, including by providing a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders and strengthening protection measures. Norway looks forward to working together with all partners on this important matter’, says Norway’s Ambassador Mona Juul.

As a follow-up to the consensus resolution 72/247, the report of the Secretary-General and the anniversary meeting on 18 December 2018, Norway will present a draft resolution that focuses on the implementation of the Declaration. The draft underlines that universal rights apply equally to human rights defenders, without discrimination. It aims to send an unequivocal message on the utility of human rights defenders as an asset in our societies. The draft resolution also seeks to encourage a range of actors in the international community to play an active part in contributing to the effective implementation of the Declaration.

The anniversary meeting of the General Assembly on 18 December 2018 confirmed the important contribution of human rights defenders to the protection of human rights, development and peace.

Despite the positive role that those who stand up for human rights play towards the creation of inclusive, sustainable and prosperous societies, the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders finds that challenges to their work have not diminished in the past two decades. The Special Rapporteur, Special Procedures, UN agencies and civil society organizations have all pointed to alarming trends of killings, reprisals, threats and intimidation against human rights defenders. These trends hinders the important work of human rights defenders and are a gross violation of their human rights. They represent a serious threat to implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

All Member States are invited to join forces in this endeavour. The mission of Norway cordially invites all missions to take part in informal consultations on the draft resolution. Norwegian representatives will also be pleased to meet with all interested delegations on a bilateral basis during the session, at their request.