I have the honor to deliver this joint statement on behalf of 59 States including the Rule of Law core group, which consists of Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco and the United Kingdom.
We are pleased to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year. The declaration reminds us how important the rule of law is to the protection and promotion of human rights. The preamble recalled that: “it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”
In the decades since, we have all strived to protect human rights by upholding and promoting the rule of law domestically and internationally. The tireless efforts by the international community to promote the rule of law - including through the use and support of international judicial institutions as a means for peaceful dispute settlement; participation in international rule-making, including those relevant to human rights; sharing good practices; and providing assistance for the development of legal systems and human resources in countries in need - is commendable. And while much has been achieved, we see that much still remains to be done.
In 2015, the General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, re-emphasising that the rule of law, universal respect for human rights and human dignity, access to justice for all, and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels are integral to providing the environment needed for sustainable development.
The 2019 High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development will convene leaders from all around the world for the first time under the auspices of the General Assembly since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. When progress is reviewed, we wish to see due attention to human rights and the rule of law, which are the basis for the integrity and security of the Goals’ realisation.
In line with Sustainable Development Goal 16.3, we, as a group, would like to reiterate our commitment to promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensuring equal access to justice for all and we believe that the Human Rights Council can play a very important role in pursuing such a key priority.
Thank you, Mr. President.