This statement is delivered on behalf of 64 delegations.
The subscribers to this statement consider the Special Procedures as one of the most important tools of the international human rights system and acknowledge its unique role in contributing to the effective promotion and protection of human rights worldwide. As underscored in the founding documents of the Council a strong cooperative relationship between a State and a mandate holder is the key to securing the mechanism’s influence and impact.
The latest annual report of Special Procedures, presented to the Human Rights Council during its March session, reiterates the call for genuine cooperation between Special Procedures and member states. While it notes the positive signs of improved cooperation, for instance an increase in the number of country visits, it also points to the fact that regrettably some states have never received a visit by the mandate holders and that some states have taken a selective approach to extending invitations.
A standing invitation to the Special Procedures provides an unambiguous signal of a country’s readiness to cooperate fully with the Human Rights Council, its commitment to strengthen the special procedures system and its resolve to advance the cause of human rights. While recognizing the voluntary nature of the engagement to welcome special procedures in their respective countries, we call on all countries that have not yet done so, to extend a standing invitation to the special procedures, and to fully honour this commitment, once made.
The supporters of this statement believe that issuing a standing invitation is only the beginning of the cooperative process. It should result in genuine cooperation with the special procedures whereby states respect the independence, expertise and the working methods of the mandate holders, and take appropriate steps for continued cooperation after the country visit and when addressing their recommendations.
We note with satisfaction, that since the beginning of this initiative 118 standing invitations have been issued, thus further strengthening the cross-regional nature of this initiative.
We are also pleased to note the number of recommendations made during the UPR to issue a standing invitation, and we invite all States to accept this call for cooperation.
Finally, we encourage candidates to the Council to make concrete commitments to invite and cooperate with the special procedures. We also call upon the current members of the Council that have not yet extended a standing invitation to demonstrate their support to the Council and its mechanisms by doing so.
Thank you Mr President.
List of delegations subscribing to this statement:
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Uruguay