As delivered by Ambassador Högni Kristjánsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland.
Thank you Mr. President,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of a group of close to 40 States*, including my own country Iceland.
Since the Philippines underwent its UPR review in May this year, the human rights situation in the country continues to be of serious concern to us.
We remain particularly concerned about the thousands of killings and climate of impunity associated with the war on drugs, and note the government’s recent stated commitments to observe due process in investigating these crimes.
We urge the government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to bring these killings to an end and to cooperate with the international community to pursue appropriate investigations into these incidents, in keeping with universal principles of democratic accountability and the rule of law.
We share the concerns of the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the intimidations against human rights defenders and call upon the Philippines to ensure they are accorded full protection and that the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is guaranteed without reprisals.
We urge the government of the Philippines to pursue investigations of alleged human rights violations and abuses and to create a safe and secure environment for indigenous communities, journalists and human rights defenders.
It is essential that governments are open to discussing human rights related concerns based on UN recommendations and those of the civil society. We welcome the engagement of the Philippines with the UPR process and encourage them to fully implement the 103 recommendations they have accepted, while expressing regrets that recommendations necessary to address serious human rights violations were not accepted.
We reiterate, that as a member of the HRC, the Philippines is expected to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights and to cooperate fully with the Council.
We call upon the Government of the Philippines, to work with civil society and the United Nations to promote and protect human rights, including by welcoming a visit from the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, without preconditions or limitations.
We encourage the Philippines to request technical assistance in this regard, if necessary.
* On behalf of 39 states: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ukraine, United States