We thank the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mr. Michel Forst, for his report and for all his efforts under difficult circumstances during his first mandate period (2014-17).
We remain deeply concerned by the increased pressure on human rights defenders around the world. We concur with the analysis and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur in his recent reports.
We encourage the Mr Forst together with the OHCHR, civil society and Member states to continue this important work at the country level. We can see that it is working. Together we must do more to close the gap between the obligations of Member States and realities on the ground.
Sufficient resources needs to be in place for effective follow-up of communications and country visits, as pointed to by the Special Rapporteur. Moreover, we acknowledge the reported need for more effective communication means and to enhance the knowledge about the mandate.
Equally, threats and violations must be shed light on. The SR has an important function as a witness.
At this session, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders is up for renewal. My delegation will present a standard resolution for this purpose. Three years ago, the renewal was adopted by consensus with more than 80 co-sponsors. We invite all Member States to support this year’s renewal.
We warmly welcome Mr. Melzer, and look forward to cooperating with him on this very important mandate.
We remain deeply concerned about the fact that torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are still rampant in many parts of the world.
We would like to ask Mr. Melzer about his views on how the work on a protocol on investigative interviewing can be taken forward, and how he could contribute?