Item 5: Interactive dialogue on the Secretary General's report on alleged reprisals against those who seek to cooperate or have cooperated with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms (29.10.21)

48th session of the Human Rights Council

Geneva, 29 September 2021

Item 5: Interactive Dialogue on the Secretary-General's report on cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights


Thank you, Madam President.

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic States.

We thank the Assistant Secretary-General for presenting the annual report on allegations of intimidation and reprisals.

The high number of States cited in the report is alarming, as is the fact that many of these are members or candidate States of this Council. Even more cases are unreported or excluded due to protection concerns. The Nordic-Baltic countries are especially worried about recurring allegations and agree with the Secretary-General’s assessment that repeated similar incidents can signal patterns.

We call on all concerned States to put an immediate end to all acts of intimidation and reprisals, investigate all allegations of such acts, combat impunity and provide victims with effective remedies.

Although our current modalities for online meetings offer opportunities for more global civil society participation, it has also highlighted the digital divide and risks of digital surveillance and online attacks.

Assistant Secretary-General, what can the UN and its Member States do to breach the digital divide and ensure the inclusion of underrepresented persons and groups in UN processes?

Thank you.