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High level mainstreaming

Annual high-level panel discussion on human rights mainstreaming on the theme “Human rights in the light of multilateralism: opportunities, challenges and the way forward”. Nordic-Baltic Intervention by H.E. Mr Jānis Kārkliņš, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to the United Nations Office in Geneva. Delivered on 25 February 2019.

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Mr. President,

Distinguished panellists,

I have the honour of making this intervention on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Estonia and my own country Latvia.

We would like to thank the distinguished panellists for their valuable inputs.

The UN works on the frontlines every day around the world on the pillars of Human Rights, Peace and Security, and Development. These three pillars are intimately interlinked. However, at a time when both the multilateral order and human rights are under pressure, it is increasingly important to ensure that human rights remain a core focus of multilateralism. As the High Commissioner Bachelet has said: “If we do not succeed in this, all of the UN’s pillars will be undermined”.

To move ahead on this important agenda, we should ensure that the United Nations set-up in all countries fully incorporates the promotion and protection of all human rights. We welcome the Secretary-General’s reform agenda and in particular the reinvigoration of the Resident Coordinator system, which should aim to ensure a more coherent approach to human rights in the field presences. To this end, it is important that we all – Member States as well as UN agencies – commit to the implementation of the reform. We appreciate the High Commissioner’s leadership in seeking to integrate human rights across UN field presences – especially as the human rights pillar as such is not included as a separate track in the current UN reform process.

In parallel, we should seek to promote a closer integration of human rights and the delivery of the 2030 Agenda, as well as the UN’s prevention agenda. This can promote better coherence between political commitments and legal obligations, and between prevention efforts across the UN system.

Finally, turning to the distinguished representatives in the panel:  Applying a human rights-based approach is essential in promoting human rights. However, in line with the Human Rights Up Front initiative, we ask; how do we fully integrate human rights as part of your work on the ground, also when it comes to protecting human rights and preventing human rights violations?