I have the honor to speak on behalf of Morocco, Norway, Peru, Republic of Korea and Tunisia, members of the Core-Group of the Human Rights Council Resolution 34/41 of 24 March 2017, establishing that the second session of this Forum will be dedicated to Parliaments, as promoters of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
We would like to congratulate you on the assumption of the chairmanship of this session and express our deep confidence that under your able guidance and leadership we will have interesting and fruitful discussions on the theme under consideration.
At the same time, we would like to warmly welcome the participants and express our gratitude to the Office of the High Commissioner for their tireless efforts aimed at ensuring a smooth running of the Forum's work.
The first session, which took place in November 2016, focused on widening the democratic space in which youth could have an ever stronger role in public decision-making processes. During the two days discussions it was made clear that states and stakeholders from around the globe should continue to strengthen their cooperation aimed at advancing human rights for all, in particular for the young generations. As part of this process, Parliaments could play an important role through the competencies they have at national level.
With this in mind, the Human Rights Council decided by consensus, during its 34th session, that it is worth to continue identifying and analyzing best practices, challenges and opportunities involving national Parliaments worldwide in the promotion and protection of human rights.
Within this context, we would like to thank the Inter-Parliamentary Union for their immediate assistance and response, as well as their cooperation with the Human Rights Council in the promotion of resolution 34/41 and in preparation of this second session of the Forum.
We strongly believe that Parliaments have a critical role in protecting human rights. While translating international commitments into national policies, they also make their contribution to the fulfilment by the Member States of the United Nations of their human rights obligations, and to the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law.
We also welcome the increasing role of Parliaments in the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which represents a unique platform for them to contribute with their views about national human rights situations, and to share best practices and to cooperate with each other to advance human rights.
Secretary General Antonio Guterres once stated that "the 2030 Agenda is our roadmap and its goals and targets are tools to get there". If it is true that the 2030 Agenda is a major milestone in sustainable development, then it is also true that finding solutions to the world's greatest challenges, such as extreme poverty, gender equality, climate change or health-related crises, cannot be achieved without ensuring peace, human rights, rule of law and good governance. These are all subjects that Parliaments are heavily involved in. We look forward to the today and tomorrow discussions and would like to express our readiness to support the ways in which the UN system can promote the parliamentary protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. We also look forward to the recommendations arising from this meeting, which we hope the Council will take up in its future work.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.