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Item 2: General debate on the oral update by the High Commissioner, her report on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and oral updates on Afghanistan, Nicaragua and Sri Lanka

STATEMENT

Human Rights Council 48th Session. 

Item 2: General debate on the oral update by the High Commissioner, her report on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and oral updates on Afghanistan, Nicaragua and Sri Lanka.

Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway

                                                                              

                                                                                          Check against delivery

14 September 2021

Thank you,

We would like to thank the High Commissioner for your oral update. Norway supports the independence of your mandate, as a clear voice in the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.

This is a critical time for Afghanistan, and we follow the situation closely. We call on the Taliban to fulfill its promises to protect civilians and ensure full respect for the rights of all Afghans, including women and girls and notably the right of all children to education.
The Taliban will be judged on what they do, not by what they say.

Norway is concerned about reports of systematic arrests of opposition politicians and human rights advocates in Nicaragua, as well as of human rights abuses and torture in prisons. The elections will not be free and fair if candidates are excluded.

We encourage Sri Lanka to fully implement resolution 46/1, and to ensure progress on reconciliation, accountability and human rights. Restrictions on civic space should be removed, and the Prevention of Terrorism Act reformed.

Norway will always raise our voice to protect and defend civil society, human rights defenders and civic space. A vibrant civil society is a corner stone of democratic societies, and we need to create a safe and enabling environment for all. Reprisals due to the cooperation with the UN are unacceptable.

Thank you, Madam president.