OPENING OF THE THEMATIC DISCUSSION HR TREATY BODIES INFORMAL MEETING
New York, 16 July 2012
Your Excellency, Co-Facilitator, Ambassador Greta Gunnarsdottir, Permanent Representative of Iceland,
Your Excellency, Co-Facilitator, Ambassador Desra Percaya, Permanent Representative of Indonesia,
Ms. Navy Pillay, UN High Commissioner of Human Rights,
Mr. Abdelhamid El Jamri, Chairperson of the 24th Annual Meeting of Chairs of treaty bodies,
Mr. Mousa Burayzat, Chairperson of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
General Assembly Resolution 66/254 established an intergovernmental process on strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system.
All of us have already begun to engage closely with the relevant stakeholders, in an open and transparent manner.
We will continue with this speed and with strong engagement until the end of this GA session, with the intention of reaching the maximum possible outcome within this timeframe.
We all agree on the need to rationalize, adapt, and streamline the important UN machinery in the field of human rights, with the aim of improving its efficiency.
Regardless of different starting positions, the active and forward-looking participation of Member States is the spirit we need to generate a common effort.
It is this spirit of cooperation that will bring us to a commonly acceptable outcome.
This process is conceived to be multi-stakeholder.
Going forward, the progress should move with the same rationale: that is, we must continue to engage all stakeholders.
I find the current status re-assuring, and take it as a sign that the outcome of the negotiations will be a product of a serious and positive effort from all of us.
Our two objectives are known:
To strengthen the treaty bodies’ capacity and efficiency in assisting States Parties in meeting their relevant obligations; and
To improve the impact of the human rights treaty bodies on rights-holders and duty-bearers at the national level, by making their work more efficient while fully respecting their independence.
We should continue to keep this system independent and central to the promotion and protection of Human Rights.
The system serves a great purpose.
The enhancement of treaty bodies aims at improving the fulfilment of State Parties’ obligations.
It also strengthens the capacity of rights-holders to fully enjoy their rights.
I thank the co-facilitators for their efforts in reaching out to interested parties and relevant stakeholders.
I also thank the High Commissioner for Human Rights for preparing and presenting her report.
This is a tremendous effort spanning several years of consultations, and requiring a great amount of input and thinking.
Together with other reports of the Secretary General, this is very useful material for us to absorb and to consider in the way forward.
I sincerely hope that Member States will embrace a long-term perspective and will seize this important opportunity.