GA: Human Rights Up Front

Statement on the Human Rights Up Front initiative held by Iselin Hebbert Larsen, 27 January 2016.

Mr President,

I would like to thank Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson for his informative briefing about the Secretary General’s Human Rights Up Front initiative.

Norway strongly supports Human Rights Up Front, and we believe it constitutes a crucial contribution to strengthening the capabilities of the UN to prevent humanitarian crises and conflict.

Human Rights Up Front does not represent something new. Human rights are essential to the UN Charter, which also recognizes the importance of upholding human rights in order to prevent conflict.

The Human Rights up Front initiative has contributed to reviving the human rights agenda within the UN, particularly in the field. It is part of a crucial “early warning” mechanism, where ominous symptoms of problems ahead can be discovered and dealt with to ensure that the UN acts on its responsibility to protect and that human rights violations, humanitarian disasters and conflicts are prevented.

Strong leadership, including at the UN country team level, is needed to maintain the efforts and ensure full implementation of the UN’s action plan to implement Human Rights up Front.

Member States also have a crucial role to play. Our support for the initiative is key, as is maintaining a dialogue with the Secretary General and UN agencies about its implementation.

At the same time, Norway strongly believes that the Secretary General must remain in the lead of the Human Rights up Front initiative in order to sustain progress.

Furthermore, it is important that the next Secretary General keep Human Rights up Front on top of her or his agenda. We as Member States must contribute to this end. I can assure you that Norway will.

We look forward to continued close engagement with Member States about how the Secretariat is working to strengthen the UN’s capability for early warning and prevention, and regarding future steps to be taken according to the implementation of the Human Rights Up Front Action Plan.

Similarly, we look forward to remaining in close contact with the Secretary General, different part of the UN system, Member States and Civil Society about the continued realization of Human Rights up Front.