I am speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends on national implementation, reporting and follow-up [the full list of countries will be posted in the extranet].
We welcome this unique opportunity to evaluate the performance, achievements and shortcomings of the Council’s work under item 10 and to consider ideas as how to improve its delivery in the future.
We must question whether the Council is truly fulfilling its mandate. Too often item 10 turned into rather stale thematic debates, when instead it should be a dynamic, interactive forum for open and genuine dialogue and cooperation. Our challenge is to turn item 10 into a space where countries can explain the challenges they face, express their capacity and technical assistance needs, and where international support and cooperation can be mobilized to help States, that so request it, to further improve their human rights situation on the ground. It should also be a space for exchange on achievements and good practice and to build trust.
We see particular potential in tying reform of the Council’s delivery of technical assistance and capacity building support with the evolving human rights domestic implementation agenda. For many States, especially developing countries, including LDCs and Small Island Developing States, capacity constraints are one of the principal obstacles to better implementation, follow-up and reporting.
Making progress in this area is vital for the cause of human rights. We should specifically use the beginning of the Third Cycle of the UPR and the delivery of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to make effective progress on the ground, ensuring that no one is left behind.
The Group of Friends believes that so-called national mechanisms for coordination, implementation, reporting and follow-up (NMIRFs) offer a particularly interesting vehicle for States to identify gaps and needs, and to mobilize international cooperation and support, from this Council, from OHCHR, from UN Country Teams via UNDAFs, from bilateral donors, and from others. We would welcome panelist’s views: (i) first, on how could item 10 become more relevant to support States in their efforts to create efficient NMRIFs and (ii) second, in what ways might NMRFs better contribute to the delivery of technical assistance and capacity building support on the ground.