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Australian Statement for the Thematic Meeting on the Role of Poverty Alleviation, 26 February 2021

Human Rights Council 46th session

Thematic meeting on the role of poverty alleviation

Statement by Australia

26 February 2021

Thank you, Madam President.

Australia is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a universal, global approach to reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development, and ensuring peace and prosperity.

Australia takes a human rights-based approach to development, emphasising the need for countries to respect, protect and promote human rights, in line with international human rights law. Through our development assistance program, we work in partnership with countries in the Indo-Pacific region and across the world to help them become more prosperous and secure.

The SDGs are the culmination of careful negotiations on the interrelationship between development and human rights. As outlined in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, while development facilitates the enjoyment of all human rights, the lack of development may not be invoked to justify the abridgement of internationally recognised human rights. Development is not a precondition for the enjoyment of human rights.

The COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the most profound challenges to development in a century and threatens to jeopardise progress towards the SDGs. It causes food insecurity and poverty and intensifies risks for those in vulnerable situations, including women and girls, older persons, and people with disabilities.

Australia’s new development Strategy, Partnerships for Recovery, sets out how our overseas development program will tackle the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Indo-Pacific, with particular emphasis on support for those in the most vulnerable situations.

Existing HRC mechanisms provide the appropriate avenue for ongoing discussion on these issues.

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