Human Rights Council 47th Session.
Item 2: Interactive dialogue on the annual report of the High Commissioner (as per GA res. 48/141)
Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway
Check against delivery
21 June 2021
We thank the High Commissioner for her oral update and the OHCHR for their tireless efforts during this challenging time. As we are managing the global crisis and slowly starting to rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that human rights and gender equality are at the core of national strategies to build fairer, safer, and more equal and democratic societies.
A strong and empowered civil society is an invaluable part of a resilient and genuine democracy. Civil society should have a prominent role in both pandemic response and post-pandemic rebuilding, to ensure that these efforts are truly democratic and representative.
It is unacceptable that those who seek to defend fundamental rights are exposed to threats and violence. The worrying trend that we have seen during the pandemic, of restrictions and attacks against human rights defenders, civil society and media, must be reversed. All countries should create a safe and enabling environment for all.
Madam High Commissioner,
How can states ensure constructive participation of civil society, including women’s organisations in the rebuilding after the pandemic?
Finally, the OHCHR, together with the Ethiopian Commission for Human Rights, plays an important role in investigating alleged human rights violations in Tigray. The human rights situation in Tigray is serious and it should be placed on the formal agenda of the Council.