We appreciate the High Commissioner’s annual report from 2011. We commend the High Commissioner for her principled, transparent and timely responses to events as they have occurred.
The popular uprisings we have seen in the Middle East and North Africa have challenged decades of repression.
2011 has also demonstrated that one of the most difficult and important challenges after a transition from an authoritarian to a democratic regime, is to address accountability for past violations. The High Commissioner should continue to provide analysis and expertise in transitional justice and rule of law issues.
The High Commissioner’s contributions are also critical to protect the rights of minorities and groups that become even more vulnerable in periods of insecurity and instability. With the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the rights of minorities, we should strengthen our efforts.
We reiterate our support to the multi-stakeholder process the High Commissioner has initiated to strengthen the treaty body system. We appreciate the proposal for a fixed reporting calendar. The calendar would provide predictability and a more even distribution of reporting obligations for states. The issue of funding is nonetheless a major challenge. We encourage you to provide more information on the possible savings of other proposals that can be combined with the fixed calendar before the consultations in New York.
We welcome the groundbreaking report from the High Commissioner on discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The report is a milestone in international efforts to stop discrimination of sexual minorities.
We encourage the High Commissioner to continue to provide analysis and inspiring further discussion on this important issue.
World events are bringing to light the need for international cooperation on human rights. Around the world, people are increasingly demanding the fulfilment of the fundamental rights set out in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the international human rights conventions. This underlines the need to strengthen the third pillar upon which the United Nations was founded.
The human rights perspective needs to be more effectively integrated into all relevant UN funds and programmes. This should be reflected in UN policies, resource allocation, goal-setting and incentive structures for managers.
This will not be possible without leadership from the very top of the United Nations system. This also requires the clear leadership of the High Commissioner. Norway is ready to support the High Commissioner and her office to move the principles into realities.
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