GA: Report of the Human Rights Council

Statement given by Norway's Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative Ms. May-Elin Stener to the General Assembly on the Report of the Human Rights Council, 4 November 2016.

| General Assembly

Mr. President,

The Human Rights Council is responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner.

Norway therefore believes that when a resolution is adopted by the Council, the General Assembly has no role in reopening or overturning these decisions, and certainly not the Third Committee.

This undermines the very role and independent mandate that we as States have given the Human Rights Council.

We call on all States to respect all decisions of the Council. Needless to say, our call to respect the decisions of the Council also covers those specifically establishing special mandate holders.

We have committed ourselves to ensuring that all people are entitled to and granted the same set of rights irrespective of gender, race, religious and political background, or indeed sexual orientation and gender identity,

These rights exist already through, inter alia, the Covenants on civil and political rights, and on economic, social and cultural rights, and a number of human rights conventions.

Human rights are also at the very heart of the 2030 Agenda, underpinning the Sustainable Development Goals and our ambitious plan to leave no one behind. This is a call not only to end poverty, but also to tackle inequality and discrimination.

There is no shortage of rights to be implemented. It is the implementation itself that is the problem. The special mandate holders created by the Council are crucial to the implementation of the commitments we have made. Their work should not be impeded, but supported.

Norway applauds the resolution of the Council recognizing the need to protect persons from the LGBTI community from discrimination or violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We strongly support the landmark decision to appoint an independent expert on this topic.

Norway is therefore disappointed and troubled by the decision to once again bring forward a resolution in the Third Committee aiming to reopen the report of the Council.

We strongly oppose the attempt to defer the decision on the establishment of the independent expert on the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

This attempted deferral has no legal basis. No formal objection was raised on the appointment of the mandate holder. The appointment rigorously respected all procedural rules of the Council.

Norway is dismayed by the blatant disregard for the fact that the decision effectively undermines the mandate and the credibility of the Council. It sets a very dangerous precedent. We call all Member States to respect and safeguard the independence of the Council.

Thank you.