Statement by Portugal on behalf of GoF of NMIRFs

Statement made by Portugal on the behalf of the Group of Friends on national mechanisms for implementation, reporting and follow-up (NMIRFs), in the occasion of the Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, 22 Nov 2018.

Thank you Mr President.


I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of the 27 Member-States of the group of friends on national mechanisms for implementation, reporting and follow-up (NMIRF’s), namely Angola, Bahamas, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Fiji, Georgia, Haiti, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, Seychelles, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Uruguay and my own country, Portugal.


We thank all the speakers for their interesting interventions and both the “core-group” of HRC resolution 34/41 and the OHCHR for having respectively requested and organized this edition of the Forum dedicated to such an important issue. We equally welcome the role played by IPU and OHCHR’s report 38/25 on the contribution of Parliaments to the work of the Human Rights Council and its universal periodic review, including the draft principles on Parliaments and Human Rights, annexed to that report, for Member States further consideration.


Our group of friends, created in early 2017 following an initiative of Portugal, has as main purpose raising awareness of the importance of national mechanisms for an effective, comprehensive and coordinated implementation, reporting and follow-up of the recommendations made by the international human rights system (the UPR, the Treaty Bodies and the Special Procedures). As stated by the  Secretary-General, the  success of States in their efforts to promote and protect human rights, with the support of the United Nations, will undoubtedly depend on national mechanisms for reporting and follow-up being in place to deal with the tasks of implementation  of  recommendations  and  reporting  on  these  efforts  and  the  impacts achieved   in   close   cooperation   and   consultation   with   national   stakeholders.


Mr. President,


Parliaments are cornerstones of national human rights protection system: they legislate on human rights issues; they oversee the activities of the government and have the responsibility to bring the executive power to account; they play the essential role in the ratification of international human rights treaties and they also approve the State budgets, whose funds’ allocations have direct human rights implications.


Thus, we believe that strengthening the relationship between Parliaments and NMIRF’s is pivotal for the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It’s a fact that NMIRF’s are, by definition, inter-ministerial bodies. However, many have established close links and a fruitful dialogue with other key human rights actors such as National Human Rights Institutions or civil society organizations. Likewise, Parliaments can not be overlooked due to their crucial role in this regard.


I would like to ask the panellists’ views on the benefits of the collaboration between Parliaments and these national mechanisms (NMIRF’s) and on the most effective ways to strengthen such collaboration. Furthermore, we would like to ask how they see the role of the United Nations, in particular of the OHCHR and of IPU in promoting that relationship.


I thank you.