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General Comment: Resolution on National Human Rights

Australia is proud to present draft resolution L.20, on National Human Rights Institutions.

The resolution reflects the integral role National Human Rights Institutions play in the international human rights system. The unique ability of NHRIs to take international debates and make them relevant in the local context is essential to realising human rights for all.

By connecting States’ international human rights obligations with the lived experience of individual rights holders, they make a daily contribution to highlighting inequity and marginalisation.

This text reiterates the fundamental contribution NHRIs make, both domestically and internationally, in support of the implementation of human rights obligations.

This year, COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the world, including on individual human rights.

Draft resolution L.20 includes updates to the text from HRC39 to recognise the engagement of NHRIs in national responses to COVID-19.

NHRIs have played an important role in highlighting the human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, offering guidance to States in ensuring a human rights-compliant response to the pandemic, examining and monitoring the situation and raising public awareness, including through the provision of accurate and timely information.

The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) and its regional networks, along with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Development Program, have provided support to NHRIs to fulfil their mandates during this time.

The resolution again requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Human Rights Council, at its 51st session, a report on the implementation of the resolution, that includes best practice examples among NHRIs and a report on the activities of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions in accrediting NHRIs in compliance with the Paris Principles.

Australia thanks all delegations, GANHRI, and civil society, for their constructive contributions. We have tabled a balanced resolution with updates focused on COVID-19, taking into account as many concerns and suggestions as possible.

Madam President,

We commend the text of draft resolution L.20 to the Council and encourage all members to support its adoption by consensus.

341 words.  

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