Norway warmly welcomes the two Special Rapporteurs.
We commend the way in which the Special Rapporteur on peaceful assembly and association has taken up this important mandate. His first report to the HRC contains important, concrete recommendations and interesting best practices.
Freedom of peaceful assembly and association are at the heart of an active civil society and a functioning democracy. As you state in your report, these rights serve as a channel allowing for dialogue, pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness, where minority or dissenting views are respected. Societies move forward through the right to assemble and associate peacefully.
We therefore share your concern (para 20) that there in many instances exist an environment in which the enjoyment of these rights is seriously impeded. And we note that you warn against arbitrary interpretations of international law in this regard.
You mention the importance of non-discrimination and the importance of ensuring that the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are enjoyed by everyone. What concrete measures should be taken to protect the more vulnerable groups in a peaceful assembly?
We appreciate the cross regional approach of the Special Rapporteur. Your mandate has issued several important communications to governments and we welcome your report on observations of these communications. Based on your observations, would you say that the challenges are mainly due to restrictive domestic legislation, or is the problem that the right to freedom of assembly is impeded in practice?
Norway also commends Mr. Emmerson for his comprehensive report to the Council on framework principles for securing the human rights of victims of terrorism.
We believe that the core of your mandate should continue to focus on the need to ensure State accountability for securing fundamental human rights while countering terrorism. However we acknowledge that any sustainable anti-terrorism strategy requires recognition of the suffering of the victims of terrorism and protection of their rights. We welcome your report to the Council identifying the core human rights of victims of terrorism and the international obligations resting on States to protect those rights. The report will be studied with interest by relevant stakeholders in Norway.
We would like the Special Rapporteur to elaborate on the occurrence of violations of the human rights of victims of terrorism? What is the global scale of this problem? We would also appreciate if the Special Rapporteur could elaborate on main reasons for the failure of States to protect the rights of victims of terrorism.
Many of the suggested principles for securing the human rights of victims of terrorism are enshrined in existing international instruments. We would like the Special Rapporteur to share his thoughts on what would be the added value of a new international instrument to protect the rights of victims of terrorism?
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