Norway thanks the Deputy High Commissioner for presenting the annual report on the situation of human rights in Colombia.
Norway recognizes the positive advances made by the Colombian Government in the promotion and protection of human rights and the advancement of the rule of law. We commend the excellent and active work carried out by the Office of the High Commissioner for human rights in Colombia. We also appreciate this annual opportunity to discuss the activities by the OHCHR in Colombia.
In order to meet standards under international human rights and humanitarian law in Colombia, it is imperative to strengthen the efforts to achieve sustainable peace through dialogue and negotiation. Recognition must be given to the role of civil society and particularly to women in conflict resolution and peace building, as recognized in UN resolution 1325.
Norway supports the recommendation by the OHCHR to the government to more actively include victims and their organizations in the implementation of the “Victims’ and Land Restitution Law”. The law urges the Government to designate a focal point to manage the comprehensive protection programme foreseen in this Law, and calls upon the Attorney General to establish a special unit to investigate crimes related to the process of land restitution.
Norway will also echo the recommendation by the OHCHR, urging the attorney general and the police to strengthen the mechanisms to effectively investigate attacks against human rights defenders, and to strengthen efforts to secure accountability for such violations.
Turning to the progress report on the human rights situation in Yemen, Norway welcomes the political transition process that has started in Yemen and the expressed commitment of the new government to fully promote and protect human rights.
The overriding objective of the new government of Yemen must be to create a lasting solution to the many conflicts in the country. Norway calls on all parties in Yemen to refrain from the use of violence and to resolve their political or sectarian differences through open, transparent and comprehensive dialogue. In this regard it must be recognized that the promotion and protection of human rights are key factors in ensuring a fair and equitable justice system and, ultimately, reconciliation and stability for the country.
Norway is deeply concerned about the enormous humanitarian challenges in Yemen. To stabilize the situation, it is necessary to tackle the fundamental problems in the society, many of which stem from the increasing number of refugees, water and energy shortages, lack of food, and a weak infrastructure.
We encourage the United Nations system to continue to assist the transitional process in Yemen, and we call on the government of Yemen to continue to engage with the OHCHR, including with the view to establish an OHCHR country office in Yemen with a mandate to promote and protect human rights in the country.
To conclude, Norway would also like to underline that the Human Rights Council should maintain its engagement on Yemen, including through regular progress reports by the high commissioner on the human rights situation of in Yemen.
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