Panel on Technical Cooperation

JOINT STATEMENT on behalf of the UN70-group, 20 June 2017

Mr President,

I am speaking on behalf of the UN70 group Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand and my own country Norway. We came together in 2015 to develop reform ideas for the UN and the new Secretary General.

Looking ahead, this Council must learn from its achievements and its shortfalls under agenda item 10. As States continue to work to bridge the long-standing challenges of implementations between human rights obligations and local realities, and as they work to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is vital that strengthened delivery under agenda item 10 must play a key role. It is our belief that technical assistance contributes significantly in preventing human rights violations and in enhancing the capacity of Governments to fulfill their human rights obligations.

We are of the view that the Council’s item 10 debates have become too static, and less of a genuine forum for engagement on technical assistance and capacity building. We suggest changing this approach to secure a more practical, accountable and open dialogue. To secure better national implementation, this process needs to be more demand-driven.

Every state has its different degrees of challenges in implementing its human rights obligations. However, supporting states needs be more coherent and reliable when considering technical assistance request. We also need to bear in mind the constraints on human rights funding and competing priorities. Promoting a strategy for prevention of human rights violations is an opportunity. Better data and information is needed to understand the economic benefits of such strategies.

States asking for assistance could benefit from better harmonization of human rights implementation mechanisms with their plans for SDG implementation. The OHCHR and other UN agencies play an important role in assisting requesting states in this process, and as providers of the technical assistance.

As a starting point, we could share best practices and experiences to learn from each other in an informal dialogue with requesting states, supporting states and existing regional and UN human rights mechanisms. States requesting technical assistance could come forward. While, regional and UN human rights mechanisms could contribute, advice and facilitate on the best ways to meet these requests, supporting states could engage in an open and constructive dialogue. This could be the first steps in bridging the ‘implementation gap’ in a necessary item 10 strengthening process. 

Thank you, Mr President.