Norway would like to thank the Deputy High Commissioner for her presentation of the four reports under this agenda item.
Norway commends the report of the OHCHR on Afghanistan and subscribe to its realistic conclusion and recommendations.
The transition process in Afghanistan is underway. Afghanistan is increasingly taking control of its own security and territory - and the responsibility for the country’s international obligations.
Only a political and inclusive intra-Afghan process can solve the conflicts in Afghanistan. The process has to be Afghan led. It is imperative that all ethnic groups are included. Civil society representatives, including women’s groups, must be able to influence the political process. The responsibility for increased respect for human rights rests with Afghan authorities. Women’s rights and empowerment of women must remain a priority.
At the same time it is crucial that Afghanistan and the international community strengthen civilian cooperation in a long term perspective - beyond 2014. At the Bonn Conference in December last year, firm mutual commitments to this aim were given.
Norway will remain in Afghanistan as a partner and provider of development assistance for many years. Capacity building of national institutions, including human rights institutions and civil organizations is a priority. The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission is one of our most important partners in the overall HR-work. Norway also supports legal and media organizations working to promote universal freedoms and rights. We want to coordinate our efforts with the national priorities set up by the government to the greatest extent possible.
Let me also use this opportunity to congratulate Afghanistan on its submission on its first CEDAW report and encourage full implementation of the Law on Elimination of Violence against Women.
Norway also finds that the report on the DRC by the OHCHR is of great value to the work of this Council.
We especially appreciate the focus on challenges related to sexual violence and impunity for such acts, as well as the situation during the electoral period and its aftermath.
We appreciate the expressed commitment by the DRC to support and protect human rights defenders, and calls upon the Government to forcefully denounce attacks on human rights defenders and ensure effective investigation and prosecution of crimes and violations committed against human rights defenders and their families.
Norway supports a continued reporting mandate on the situation on human rights in the DRC.
I thank you.