Joint statement by UN70 group at Human Rights Council

On the occasion of the Annual High-Level Panel on Human Rights Mainstreaming during the first day of the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, Norway`s Human Rights Director Lajla Brandt Jakhelln, delivered a joint statement on behalf of the #UN70-group. Emphasizing the interconnectivity of peacebuilding and human rights, as well as the need for increased cooperation between three mandated UN-pillars, the trans-regional group, consisting of Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Norway, encouraged the UN Secretary General to strengthen human rights mainstreaming. Intervention in full below:

“Mr President,

I am speaking on behalf of Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand and my own country, Norway. We are eight countries that came together in early 2015 to form the UN70 group, a cross-regional group, with a view to developing reform ideas for the United Nations and the new Secretary General.

Human rights mainstreaming within the UN system is central to sustaining peace. It is essential for improving respect for human rights, advancing gender equality, empowering women and youth, strengthening institutions and advancing economic development in conflict-affected countries. The HRC has a unique mandate to contribute in this agenda through inter alia strengthening dialogue and cooperation, prevention and providing technical assistance to States on their request.

We are convinced of the linkages between peacebuilding and human rights, and we reaffirm the importance of a comprehensive approach to sustaining peace, particularly through the prevention of conflict and addressing its root causes.

We know that many States are facing challenges in implementing their human rights obligations. The OHCHR has documented several requests from Member States to strengthen their capacity for human rights implementation though technical cooperation. Many of these requests remain unmeet due to financial constraints and competing global priorities.

We recognize the need to strengthen the OHCHR’s ability to provide technical assistance to States. Furthermore, we should improve the efficiency of the existing human rights mechanisms, like the Council’s agenda item 10, to better match technical needs with financial assistance.

We know that lack of human rights implementation, underdevelopment and lack of security can both trigger and be a result of conflict. The three mandated pillars of the UN need to work closer and more coherently together in early warning to prevent the outbreak of conflict. Duplication should be avoided. It is only when the three pillars work strongly together that we can realize the full potential of “We the peoples of the UN”.

We encourage the Secretary General to continue to strengthen human rights mainstreaming, and we welcome his strong focus on conflict prevention. A greater proportion of resources should be allocated to these areas.

Mr President,

Promoting a strategy for prevention of human rights violations is not an opportunity, it is a necessity. We invite all Member States to join us in this endeavor.

Thank you. “