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As delivered by First Secretary Sean Lobo
Norway would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for her tireless efforts and final report to the Council. We regret that she has not been granted access to the country, and invite Eritrea to cooperate with her successor.
Recent news from Asmara to open a dialog with Ethiopia is promising news. We hope this sets a stage for peace and normalization which also should give positive impact on development and the human right situation in Eritrea.
As a long-standing friend of Eritrea, we remain concerned by the reports of grave human rights violations. Upholding human rights is an integral part of a government’s duties towards its citizens. It is vital to ensure transparency as regards both progress that has been made and areas where improvements are needed. In order to strengthen accountability and the implementation of human rights obligations, we urge Eritrea to allow experts from the UN access to the country. Cooperation with Special Procedures representatives is crucial to complement the UPR process.
This session has a particular focus on women’s rights. Norway recognises the advances made on gender equality and the fight against harmful practices. However, much needs to be done. Establishing and ensuring respect for the rule of law is one of the prerequisites for human right improvement. We would be interested to hear the views of the Special Rapporteur on how Eritrea and the international community could build on advances made on women’s rights to other areas of human rights obligations?
We appreciate the Government of Eritrea’s readiness to engage in bilateral dialogues on human rights. We strongly encourage Eritrea to cooperate closely with the UN on capacity building and reform in order to achieve the SDGs, including the human rights targets. Norway would reiterate its recommendation that Eritrea should invite OHCHR to establish an office in the country.