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Norway's statement during dialogue with the High Commissioner

President,

We thank the High Commissioner for his introduction and his precise and principled analysis and responses to events in 2014, a year where we have witnessed some of the most horrible violations and abuses of human rights, and where human rights are coming under increasing pressure in many states.

We share the High Commissioner’s concerns that we in reaction to extremist violence lose the sight and political will to fight for the international principles that we agreed to 70 years ago to prevent exactly such extreme use of power.

Since the creation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a strong framework for international human rights law has been consolidated. The Council and its mechanisms supplement this, with increasingly stronger methods for addressing violence, extremism, discrimination and neglect of human rights.

In spite of this positive development, we face an unacceptable implementation gap between established norms and realities on the ground. The human rights tools at our disposal are not all as strong, sharp and relevant as we need them to be to ensure better implementation on the ground. This is why we need more debate on how to strengthen the relevance and impact of the Human Rights Council. 

The High Commissioner has become an authoritative voice on human rights, built on our repeated confirmation of its independence. The High Commissioner and his office is also a trusted advisor for States to address protection and capacity gaps in the field. These achievements must be safeguarded against political pressure and financial constraints. We support the High Commissioners efforts in improving the impact and efficiency of his office. But we also call on States to speak with one voice in Geneva and NY, and secure the Office’ financial capacity to respond to the increasing demand and need for its support.

Norway is ready to support the High Commissioner and his office to meet these challenges.