Magdy Martínez-Solimán: Opening Statement at the HLPF Side Event: “The function of International Human Rights Mechanisms and the role of National Human Rights Institutions in supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda”

Jul 13, 2017

Excellencies, Distinguished Panellists, Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my pleasure to open this side-event to the High Level Political Forum and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the co-sponsors: The Permanent Missions of Uruguay, Germany, Costa Rica, and Sierra Leone to the United Nations, along with CIVICUS and the Center for Economic and Social Rights.

UNDP is also proud to co-host this event with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions with whom we have enjoyed a tri-partite partnership to support National Human Rights Institutions since 2011.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Eradicating poverty remains one of humanity’s greatest challenges. Two decades of rapid progress and the universal adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals - with poverty eradication at their core - have brought our goal within sight. 

A world without poverty would represent a giant step in social cohesion and human dignity – a world where a fundamental right would be respected.

The Agenda 2030 seeks to realize the human rights of all with a core commitment to “leaving no one behind”.  This means improving lives of those who have been, thus far, locked out of the benefits of growth and development, and for whom freedom is an abstract term, in stark contrast with the hardship of their lives and that of their families.

UNDP considers human rights as intrinsic to development, and development as a means to realize many human rights. Our work is anchored in the principle of national ownership and focused on building the capacities of institutions. Since 2009, UNDP has responded to requests from around 100 countries to support integration of human rights standards and principles more fully into public policies, laws, and national development frameworks including support to over 90 NHRIs. (National Human Rights Institutions)

More importantly, in 2016, various member states acknowledged the links between the SDGs and human rights including the multi-dimensional aspects of poverty and the multiple rights denied by it. Some Member States considered promoting human rights as a key objective to achieving the SDGs.

The human rights framework and National Human Rights Institutions can advise and support national stakeholders on human rights-centered approaches to implement the SDGs. This can include how to promote meaningful participation of all groups at all stages of SDG implementation; how to support monitoring of progress and how to provide evidence-based recommendations and guidance on patterns of discrimination and inequality. UN Member States agreed on the existence of independent NHRIs in compliance with the Paris Principles as an indicator for SDG 16 (indicator 16.a.1). More than a third of our Member States have already reached this target. There is, therefore, much work to do, and there are good examples that show us the way forward.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The General Assembly has called for “an intensive global engagement - bringing together Governments, the private sector, civil society, the United Nations system and other actors and mobilizing all available resources” to support the implementation of Agenda 2030.

Tri-Partite Partnership of UNDP, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and GANHRI supports National Human Rights Institutions, a key actor for good SDG implementation.

The Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, brings together Member States, the private sector and civil society, who want to place a special emphasis in Goal 16  - and would like to report progress in a credible and objective manner.

Last month UNDP supported the Government of Argentina who convened the region around best practices to report on Goal 16.  The National Human Rights Chairperson of Costa Rica explained the relevance of engaging NHRIs on reporting on SDG 16, as a means of promoting achievement of the entire 2030 Agenda.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our panellists will convey to us today their experiences, their difficulties and their success. We hope to understand better how the engagement of international human rights mechanisms and Institutions are contributing to the realization of human rights through the Sustainable Development Goals.

I thank you for your kind attention and I am now pleased to turn to our distinguished panel.


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