As delivered by Portugal on behalf of the Group of Friends of national implementation, reporting and follow-up
Thank you Mr. President,
I am pleased to deliver the following statement on behalf of the group of friends on national implementation, reporting and follow-up (Angola, Bahamas, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Fiji, Georgia, Haiti, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Seychelles, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tunisia and Uruguay).
During his statement at the opening of the 37th session of the Council, the UN Secretary-General underscored the urgent need, if this Council and the wider UN are to “reverse the current backlash” against human rights, of focusing, to a far higher degree, on the domestic implementation of the rich output of recommendations generated each year, and for every member State, by the international human rights mechanisms.
The Secretary-General also acknowledged that a key part of such an emerging ‘global implementation agenda’ must be integrate human rights recommendations into the overall UN planning and action, especially at national level through Resident Coordinators, Country Teams, and UN Development Assistance Frameworks. An important part of this effort also implies to provide better support to member States for the implementation of recommendations received from the wider human rights system, the UPR, the Treaty Bodies and the Special Procedures. The UNSG further noted the vital importance of improved human rights implementation for both his prevention agenda, and for the realisation of the SDGs leaving no one behind. Indeed the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is offering a huge opportunity to advanced human rights on the ground, to foster systemic cooperation across the system and to align development and human rights.
The Group of Friends welcomes and strongly concurs with these points. We especially welcome the focus on national mechanisms for implementation, reporting and follow-up (NMIRFs), as a keystone of national implementation and impact, of translating universal norms into local reality, and of linking human rights with the delivery of the 2030 Agenda.
An increasing number of States around the world are establishing, improving or sharing national experiences on NMIRFs, and are creating common space to discuss challenges and progress achieved. Such mechanisms are also putting focus on monitoring tools to help national coordination on implementation and reporting, and to improve public transparency and accountability, as well on collecting and desegregating data and statistics to serve human rights effective implementation.
A number of NHRIs are also sharing good practice in how to best support domestic implementation and hold governments accountable against their international obligations and commitments, including in partnership with national civil society. Parliaments are also increasingly focusing on leveraging their legislative, budgetary and oversight roles to promote human rights implementation and timely reporting. Development partners are increasing interested in how to leverage bilateral ODA and UN Development Assistance Frameworks to support the implementation, by States, of key clusters of human rights recommendations. Technical and capacity-support is also emerging as a key element in this dialogue.
Several of these NMIRFs are already playing a role in the domestic implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In our view NMIRFs have a so-called “acquis” that can be extremely useful to the SGDs implementation from a human rights perspective, bearing in mind that 90% of SDG targets are embedded in human rights norms. NMIRFs have the experience of reporting, monitoring, assessing, coordinating and they have the potential to aggregate different actors and views on the ground, thus promoting comprehensive implementation.
Building on this, we would have two questions to the panelists: (i) the first one, how do the panelists see the role and the potential of these NMIRFs in aggregating the different actors on the ground, including development actors; (ii) second, how could item 10 of the Council´s agenda be more leveraged to support States in their efforts to create efficient national mechanisms responsible for implementation, measurement, reporting and follow-up and thus boosting domestic comprehensive implementation of human rights and SDGs.