Thank you Madam President,
We thank the delegation of the Russian Federation for their presentation and their open consultation on the resolution on “Promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms through a better understanding of traditional values of humankind: best practices. “
We value and appreciate that many elements of international human rights standards and norms have developed over time and have their roots in all parts of the world.
However, the draft resolution fails to recognise that traditional values have often been abused to legitimise discrimination, to silence dissent, and violate people’s human rights.
For this reason, my government has serious concerns that the undefined concept of “traditional values of humankind” may serve to undermine the norms laid down under international human rights law, rather than to promote human rights. Traditions and values changes over the time, and are viewed and interpreted differently by various actors in society. While there are some traditions in line with human rights, others are in contradictions with them.
Since there is no consensus on what constitutes traditional values, this concept opens up space for interpretations that may serve to undermine agreed international human rights norms and standards and used to justify violence against women, honour killings, forced and early marriage, female genital mutilation, slavery and servitude, caste-based discrimination and violence against other minority groups.
We cannot accept initiatives that undercut the principle of universality of human rights, namely that human rights are the same for all individuals, everywhere at all times, as laid down in article 5 in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action; in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in various human rights instruments.
We are also questioning the timing of this resolution as long as the study by the Advisory Committee on how a better understanding and appreciation of traditional values can contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights, has not be finalised.
For this reason Norway will call for a vote on resolution L2 and vote against it.