Norway @34HRC: Importance of protecting human rights defenders

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UN Human Rights Council, Geneva. Photo: UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

On 28 February, Ms. Marit Berger Røsland, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Norway, presented Norway´s statement to the UN Human Rights Council during the opening of its 34th session.

Alongside a record-breaking 107 dignitaries, the State Secretary addressed the Council emphasizing the importance of sustaining individual´s rights in a time where the realities on the ground are increasingly further from the norms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Norway will ask the Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders during its’ 34th session. State Secretary Røsland therefore highlighted the importance of protecting human rights defenders from reprisals and noted with appreciation the statement held by the UN Secretary General, who expressed the UN’s full support to human rights defenders in his opening statement on 27 February.

State Secretary Røsland also spoke against death penalty when delivering the introductory remarks at the side event ”From moratorium to abolition: the abolitionist strategy by 2019”, on the occasion of the launch of the Proceedings of the World Congress of Oslo 2016, together with Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort.

On the first day of the 34th session Norway, on behalf of the cross-regional #UN70 group consisting of Columbia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Norway, delivered a joint statement emphasizing the interconnectivity of human rights and peace building.