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Group of Friends Statement

HRC 37 – High Level Mainstreaming Panel – UPR, 26 February 2018 – Statement of Portugal on behalf of the Group of Friends of national implementation, reporting and follow-up

Mr. President,

I am speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends on national implementation, reporting and follow-up (Angola, Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Fiji, Georgia, Haiti, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Seychelles, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tunisia and Uruguay).

Effective domestic implementation of human rights obligations and recommendations is key to advancing the promotion and protection of human rights. The UPR has so far proved its unique role and added-value to the human rights system, but its success will be measured by the effective implementation of accepted recommendations on the ground. This should be set as the key priority for the Third Cycle. We should also emphasize the need to strengthen the relevance, precision and impact of recommendations during the Third Cycle by providing better support to member states in implementation. We should also encourage mid-term progress reports on the implementation of recommendations.

Let us also refer to the wider human rights system and the importance of comprehensive implementation of all UN human rights recommendations – from UPR, Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies – as well as from regional mechanisms.  We must also bear in mind the delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the aim of “leaving no one behind”.

When looking for effective impact on the ground, the Group of Friends is particularly interested in the role that  dedicated “national mechanisms for implementation, reporting and follow-up” (NMIRFs) can play in coordinating domestic implementation, tracking progress, measuring impact and reporting, as well as in identifying gaps and needs and mobilizing support. We emphasize also the important role of the international cooperation to strengthen these mechanisms, including technical cooperation for capacity building. While covering the whole “implementation cycle”, NMIRF`s can boost mainstreaming of human rights across national policies, enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights for all.

In conclusion, could the panelists share their views on how they see the role and the potential of these emerging NMIRF´s in aggregating the actions and views of the different actors on the ground (including NHRIs and NGOs, OHCHR field presences, UN country teams, donors, etc.) and which “checks and balances” could be established within and around those mechanisms to ensure a State driven implementation with the necessary proper monitoring of effective implementation?

Thank you.