Item 10: General Debate

Human Rights Council 42nd Session. Item 10 – General Debate 26 September 2019. Delivered by Kristine Schi Nordvold.

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Mr President,

Recent events have increased our concern about the “borderisation” around the occupied territories. Together with frequent closings of crossing points along the Administrative Boundary Lines, these events represent infringements on the human rights of the vulnerable population in the area. We call for immediate and unimpeded access to South Ossetia and Abkhazia for the OHCHR and other human rights monitoring mechanisms.

We encourage the government to continue giving priority to the implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan. We hope the Inter-agency Human Rights Council under the auspices of the prime minister will begin to meet regularly.

Recent improvements in Georgian anti-discrimination legislation are encouraging. At the same time, discrimination of especially vulnerable groups remains a serious problem. We urge the Government to step up the work to fight discrimination, violence and hate speech and to protect all citizens.

We encourage the Government to improve labour rights, including protection of workers’ health and safety, and to speed up implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Georgia has made notable improvements in protecting the civic space that is fundamental to a democratic society. As elections approach, we urge all political actors in Georgia to engage constructively in public debate and treat interlocutors with respect.

I thank you.