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Item 2: Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner

STATEMENT by Ambassador Hans Brattskar, 9 March 2017

Mr President

We thank the High Commissioner for his honest assessment. His independent voice matters for the victims of human rights violations. It matters here in the Human Rights Council to strengthen our efforts to promote and protect human rights. 

We welcome the new UN Human Rights Appeal 2017.

The appeal demonstrates that there is a significant request from states for more technical assistance from the OHCHR, and a strong desire to strengthen human rights implementation.

Hence, we need to ensure that the OHCHR is sufficiently funded.

After operating for 10 years, it is time to reform the Council’s item 10. We should be more focused on creating a more genuine and open dialogue, where financial resources are matched with substantial and founded requests for technical assistance.

When the human rights implementation gap grows, so does the conflict potential within societies. Investing in better human rights implementation, strengthening human dignity and rejecting discrimination in all its shapes and forms, is an efficient prevention tool. We are therefore pleased that the “human rights up front” initiative continues under the new Secretary General Guterres.

Mr President,

Human rights defenders strengthen our societies. We as government representatives might not always agree with them, but curbing their voice because of their criticism should never be a solution.

In this room 10 days ago, Secretary General Guterres said that “Human rights defenders must be able to freely participate in the Council and engage more broadly with the UN without fear of reprisal.  This is critical to our work and to the credibility of Member States”. We fully support this statement.

Norway has presented to member states with a standard resolution for the mandate renewal for the Special Rapporteur for human rights defenders. 3 years ago the mandate was renewed by consensus with the cross regional support of 80 states. We encourage all states to support the renewal of this crucial mandate.

Mr President,

Preventing violations of human rights should be our first priority. Success in this endeavor is a matter of necessity.

Thank you