I have the pleasure of delivering this statement on behalf of the MOUNTAINS countries and other countries.
In international human rights treaties, states have acknowledged the crucial role that families play in enabling individuals to realise their human rights. The rights of the child, the right to education, the right to health; gender equality – all can be enabled by a supportive family environment.
Families can also be a source of denials of human rights. The resolutions of this Council should never downplay the global problems of: domestic and intimate partner violence; repression of sexual and reproductive health and rights; denial of women’s property rights and rights related to divorce; child, early and forced marriage; child or elder abuse; mistreatment of people with disabilities; and violence and discrimination against LGBTI persons – including when it occurs within families.
On several occasions, UN Member States have affirmed that families are a fundamental unit of our societies whilst also acknowledging, “in different cultural, social and political systems various forms of the family exist”. This acknowledgement does not define or impose particular interpretations of ‘the family’ on states. It simply recognises the reality that in every country family structures are diverse.
In 2004, the UN Secretary General reasoned that “…given the diversity of family structures and relationships, family policies should not focus on one type of family alone. Instead, they should take into account all types of family…”. The Council’s resolutions should also acknowledge this fact.
Principle 9, A/CONF.171/13; Para 43, A/RES/65/277; PP10, A/HRC/RES/7/29.
 Paragraph 10, A/59/176.