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Item 2: General debate

STATEMENT, 22 March 2017

Mr President,

Norway highly appreciates the important work carried out by the OHCHR to promote human rights in Colombia, particularly in the current transitional context. We welcome the final peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Peoples’ Army (FARC-EP), and commend the parties for their efforts.

The agreement has resulted in an opportunity for communities to improve their living conditions at the local level.

However, we are deeply concerned about the reported increase in violence against Human Rights Defenders and community leaders. We encourage Colombia to work in a coordinated manner to protect human rights defenders and to prevent and investigate acts of violence against them.

In Honduras we remain deeply concerned about the situation of human right defenders and the overall high murder rate in the country. We urge Honduras to acknowledge the important and legitimate role of human rights defenders in the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Thank you.