Norway is seeking membership in the Human Rights Council to be more involved in promoting and protecting human rights. “The realisation of human rights for all is the most important promise enshrined in the UN Charter,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre in a statement at the Human Rights Council in Geneva in March.
Prerequisite for Advancing Peace and Development
“Supporting the UN in the area of human rights is both a humanitarian obligation and in Norway’s own interests. We have important contributions to make. As a committed and credible defender of human rights, Norway can help to reconcile differences,” said Minister Støre.
Human rights have an important conflict preventive role and an important function in peacebuilding as well as in post conflict situations. Norway attaches high importance to the work of protecting internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as to promote the rights of women and children, and the rights of indigenous peoples.
Renewed Mandate of Special Rapporteur
In March the Human Rights Council renewed the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders for a further three years. The new three year mandate was adopted by consensus. The negotiations leading up to the renewal of the mandate were chaired by Norway, who has taken a leading role on the issue since the adoption of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998.
It is important for Norway to preserve the positive contributions of the Human Rights Commission for the newly established Council, in particular to protect the independent position of the UN Special Rapporteur, and to strengthen the active role of observer states and non governmental organizations.
“Now, 60 years after the Universal Declaration the promotion of human rights is at the core of the UN mandate. It is a prerequisite for success in advancing peace and development,” Mr. Støre said.