United Nations Human Rights Council, 48th session ITEM 10 - Technical assistance and capacity-building
Statement by Finland
Delivered by H.E. Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi, Finland
7th October 2021
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries.
We thank the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) for its valuable cooperation with states and all other relevant stakeholders to strengthen national frameworks to promote and protect human rights. We call on all States to fully cooperate with the Office.
We welcome the Philippines commitment to cooperate with the UN. The national-level UN joint programme on human rights agreed in July is an encouraging step forward. It helps strengthen the capacities of government offices, including in terms of accountability and civic space.
However, concerns remain. The Philippines must ensure that reports of enforced disappearances and deaths in the campaign against illegal drugs are investigated and that perpetrators are brought into justice. Government officials should take immediate steps to address reports of harassment and killings of human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, indigenous peoples and others.
Realisation of the right to education is essential for meaningful participation in public life. In this regard, we encourage the Philippines to reinstate in-person education, limiting COVID restrictions to the strictly necessary. We welcome recent decisions by the government to move in this direction.
A vibrant civil society is a key cornerstone of a wellbeing society. We encourage the government to engage in genuine dialogue with civil society and human rights defenders as a step towards full respect for its international obligations.
The Nordic-Baltic countries are committed to cooperating with the Philippines in the promotion and protection of human rights and look forward to the full implementation of the UN Joint Programme. The UN Human Rights Office, the Special Procedures and the treaty bodies have our unwavering support for their work.