C3: Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

Statement by Ambassador Mona Juul in Third Committee on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, 18 October 2019.

| Third Committee


Dignity and respect for human beings transcends: geography, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion, belief or political views.

Human rights were elaborated as a set of standards towards common freedom and equality.

When an individual’s human rights are denied it has a rippling effect. Everyone's rights are undermined.

Human rights are at the core of international cooperation.

Their fulfilment is not only an obligation of States, it is an investment in conflict prevention, and in building prosperous societies.

It is a smart economic and social policy.



The Sustainable Development Goals require us to come together as a global community and find common solutions.

To realize the SDGs, all human rights obligations must be implemented in tandem.

This applies equally to economic, social and cultural rights, as well as civil and political rights.

They are indivisible, interrelated and mutually reinforcing.

Vienna Declaration clearly outlines, States cannot promote one set of rights at the expense of another.



The most valuable asset any country has is its human capital.

Gender equality is about unlocking the full potential of a country.

This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ICPD program of action.

This was a ground-breaking document in 1994, and still is today.

Progress has been made. Yet we see that these rights are still under pressure in many parts of the world.

Norway is firmly committed to the right of every girl and woman to decide what to do with her body, with her life, and her future.

Access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls is a prerequisite for sustainable development.

Meaning that young people need comprehensive sexuality education to make knowledgeable choices about their lives. 



In the words of the UDHR: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

Full stop. No caveats or disclaimer.

There can be no discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people because of who they are.



Norway is deeply concerned by recent reporting from the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Countries – and communities - must recognize the rights of all persons to freedom of expression, and to the free manifestation of religion or belief- including criticism.

There can be no space for intolerance, discrimination or stereotyping on the basis of religion.



We are witnessing an alarming shrinking of space for civil society and human rights defenders.

The General Assembly has for more than 20 years recognized the important and legitimate role of human rights defenders.

When they are silenced, arbitrarily arrested or even murdered, it is not only the freedom of expression that is flagrantly violated, our entire society is worse off.

Criticism and open discourse makes political decisions better and more accountable. It is something to strive for, not stifle.

This session our main priority is the biennial resolution on the promotion and protection of human rights defenders. We look forward to working closely and constructively with all Member States. And maintaining a focus on implementation, as violations against defenders are on the rise.



Without sufficient financing our resolutions and commitments to human rights will not succeed.

Human Rights receive only 3% of the entire UN budget, despite being one of the three pillars of the UN.

Norway has been a consistent top donor to OHCHR. We will continue to support its global role and mandate.  

It is a vital investment in prevention, and a tool to fulfil our global SDG commitments.


Thank you.