Joint Statement led by Latvia on the Promotion of Universality of the Standing Invitations to all Special Procedures
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Thank you Madam President,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of 62 countries.
While representing different regional and legal traditions, we, the States subscribing to this statement, are united by the decision to extend standing invitations to all special procedures mandate holders of the Human Rights Council and honour them.
A standing invitation to the special procedures is an unambiguous signal of a State's readiness to fully cooperate with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, thus demonstrating a tangible contribution to the defence and strengthening of the UN system of protection and promotion of human rights of which the special procedures are an integral and important part.
We note with satisfaction an increase in the number of States issuing standing invitations to special procedures and a decrease in the number of States that have never received a visit by a mandate holder. Since the beginning of this initiative, 126 UN Member States and 1 non-Member Observer State have issued standing invitations to the special procedures.
We also welcome the enhanced system to record the various status of country visit requests and better assess cooperation on both sides implemented since the beginning of this year, as well as initiatives to demonstrate how the implementation of the recommendations of mandate holders and constructive engagement can bring positive results such as the launch of a webpage on good stories.
Despite the positive developments, we regret that the latest annual report of the special procedures, presented to the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council, once again had to highlight the issue of partial or selective cooperation. Regardless of having extended standing invitations, some States only cooperate with a select few special procedures or respond to communications but do not accept visits.
The issuing of a standing invitation should result in genuine cooperation with the special procedures. Accepting a visit is only the beginning of a process of cooperation encompassing constructive dialogue before, during and after the visit, whereby States respect the independence, expertise and the working methods of the mandate holders, and take appropriate steps for continued cooperation when addressing their recommendations.
Whilst recognising that the commitment to receive special procedures is voluntary, we continue to encourage all States, especially current members and candidate States of the Human Rights Council, that have not done so, to extend a standing invitation to the Council's mechanisms, and once this commitment is made, to honour it.
Finally, we invite all States to continue to cooperate with and assist the special procedures mandate holders in the performance of their tasks and to promote an open, constructive and transparent dialogue in the Council.
I thank you!
Countries subscribing to the statement:
Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, The Bahamas, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, State or Palestine, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uruguay.