46th session of the Human Rights Council
Item 5 General Debate
Statement by Latvia on behalf of a group of countries, delivered by H.E. Ambassador Bahtijors Hasans.
Geneva, 17 March 2021
Thank you, Madam President.
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic States: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country – Latvia.
We thank the Special Procedures for presenting their annual communications report, and express our sincere appreciation and support to their work, which uninterruptedly continued under the difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic and the UN liquidity crisis.
The Special Procedures are an integral part of the UN human rights system, and independence is at the core of their work and, by extension, that of the Human Rights Council.
The Special Procedures system is by no means perfect and the mandate-holders have a crucial obligation to respect the Code of Conduct, the Manual of Operations and other rules and guidelines developed over the years. Equally, the Human Rights Council has an obligation to ensure that Special Procedures can continue their work in an independent and impartial manner, free from attacks, intimidation and undue influence. Any attempts to limit the independence of Special Procedures, as well as reprisals against those who cooperate with them, are unacceptable and detrimental to the work of this Council.
We urge all States to raise their concerns regarding the conduct of Special Procedures through the appropriate channels, such as the Internal Advisory Procedure.
The Nordic-Baltic countries have issued a standing invitation to all Special Procedures mandate holders. We call on all States that have not yet done so, especially members of this Council, to extend a standing invitation to the Special Procedures, and to fully and genuinely cooperate with them.