Item 4: General Debate, Statement by Norway

Item 4: General Debate, Statement by H.E. Ambassador Hans Brattskar, 18 September 2018.

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The situation for civil society and human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Bahrain is of continued concern. We urge these countries to act in order to create a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders, protect the freedom of expression, and allow the media to operate freely.


Norway opposes the capital punishment in all circumstances. The use of death sentencing in mass trials is unacceptable and shows a worrying disregard for basic human rights. We note that several members of this Council, who have committed themselves to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights”, still have not abolished the death penalty. We call on all retentionist countries to refrain from carrying out executions and to abolish the death penalty.


Furthermore, we call on Turkey to ensure a safe and enabling environment for civil society, media workers and human rights defenders by protecting the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the freedom of expression.


The recent exodus from Venezuela illustrates the seriousness of the crisis in the country. We urge the government to provide free access for international humanitarian aid, and to launch an inclusive political process to the benefit of the Venezuelan people.


Finally, the evolving human rights situation in Nicaragua is also a matter of concern. National dialogue and reengagement with the OAS and the OHCHR is paramount.


Thank you.