High Commissioner farewell speech at the Organizational Meeting of the 51st session of the Human Rights Council (NB8 Finland 30.08.2022)

High Commissioner farewell speech at the Organizational Meeting of the 51st session of the Human Rights Council

Nordic – Baltic Statement, delivered by Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi, Permanent Representative of Finland

30 August 2022

Your Excellency,

On behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries, allow me to express our deepest appreciation for your service as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. It has been a great pleasure to work with you. We will remember your dedication to support human rights globally and strengthen the multilateral system.

Your Excellency, you have always been ready to discuss various human rights concerns and dedicated to broaden our horizons. In particular, we note the significant progress in this Council in addressing the human rights implications of climate change. We reiterate our support to the efforts of Your Office’s work to address both civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights and ensure that everyone, everywhere, can fully enjoy them.

Your term coincided with some unpredicted crises. The  Covid 19 pandemic had an effect on the respect and  protection  of human rights globally. These included shrinking civic space and disproportionate consequences for persons in vulnerable situations, women’s and girls’ enjoyment of all human rights, the elderly, the disabled and others. Your guidance has been most valuable in ensuring that our work continues and new challenges to the global constituency of human rights are addressed. We thank you for this.

We will continue to support the independent mandate of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and that of its Office. We remain concerned about the severe lack of funding to human rights pillar in the United Nations. We all have a responsibility to ensure that the human rights pillar, as one of the three foundational pillars of the United Nations, can function properly in advancing the enjoyment of Human Rights globally.

Your Excellency, we wish you success in your future endeavors. May they bring you fulfilment and happiness. Even if our paths are now diverging, we hope we can continue to contribute to the global dialogue on human rights and gender equality together.