UN Human Rights Council 42 – UK Statement under Item 10

Rita French

The UK firmly believes that technical assistance can help States realise their human rights obligations. This is why I was delighted to be appointed the first International Ambassador for Human Rights earlier this year to further enhance and support the UK’s work in this area. The broad aim of this role is to work in coordination with Ministers to strengthen the multilateral human rights system and help it deliver tangible human rights improvements globally.

The UK believes it is important to challenge States that violate human rights, but it is equally important to support States that are working to fulfil their human rights obligations. We encourage other countries to take a similar approach, and to provide political and financial support to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Turning to specific country situtaions, I refer to our separate statements delivered on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Ukraine.

The UK welcomes the continued co-operation between Georgia and OHCHR but remains deeply concerned that those in effective control of Abkhazia and South Ossetia refuse access to OHCHR and other human rights mechanisms. We are also concerned by civic inequality based on ethnicity and that the latest “borderisation” activities and severe restrictions on crossing regimes by the de facto authorities have further restricted freedom of movement, affecting the most vulnerable.

It was unfortunate that the Tbilisi Pride March of Dignity was cancelled due to concerns for participants’ safety.
We welcome Georgia’s commitment to support and protect the rights of all its citizens.
In Cameroon, we believe the forthcoming national dialogue must tackle the root causes of grievances in the North-West and South-West regions. We remain ready to support credible efforts towards peace.

Finally, the UK recognises the serious, unequivocal threat that climate change poses to our planet, and to the protection, strengthening, and enjoyment of human rights. We should consider how to use this agenda item to encourage States to address climate change and its effects on the protection and enjoyment of human rights.

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