Item 2: Statement in General Debate

STATEMENT by Minister Counselor Anniken Enersen at the 42nd Session of the Human Rights Council. Item 2 – General Debate. Delivered on 11 September 2019.

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Thank you Mr. President,

Madame High Commissioner,

Norway would like to thank you for the updates, commend your valuable work and reiterate our full support for you and your office.

We are witnessing challenging times for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. We are deeply concerned by the reports of a shrinking space for civil society and human rights defenders in too many countries. We encourage the High Commissioner to continue to have a clear and independent voice in promoting and protecting human rights.

The ongoing reform efforts in the United Nations should continue emphasizing human rights. Not only in theory, but also in practice, and followed up by financial means. The UN’s ability to assist member states in complying with their human rights obligations must not be weakened by a lack of funding. We welcome the human rights components in the guidelines of the Sustainable Development Framework, but emphasize the need for sufficient capacity on human rights in the Resident Coordinator’s’ offices.

Mr. President,

We remain concerned by some states’ lack of cooperation and unwillingness to offer access and information to the High Commissioner, the OHCHR and the Special Procedures. We therefore call upon all States to fully cooperate and grant full and unhindered access.

Norway remains a consistent partner for the UN, supporting multilateral cooperation and a rules based order. The world needs the United Nations as a whole to show strong leadership in the protection and promotion of human rights and human rights defenders.

Thank you.