Informal briefing on the Human Rights up Front Initiative

Opening statement by H.E. Mr Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th session of the General Assembly at informal briefing by Deputy Secretary-General, H.E. Jan Eliasson, on the Human Rights up Front Initiative

  27 January 2016



Excellencies, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Ladies and gentlemen, you are very welcome to this informal briefing on the UN Secretary General’s Human Rights up Front Initiative.

The prevention of serious human rights and humanitarian law violations is one of the fundamental reasons for the existence of this Organization.

This is clearly stated in the UN Charter and has been repeated in numerous resolutions over the past 70 years.

To respond effectively, however, the United Nations must have systems in place that provide an early warning for when such violations may occur.

And we must ensure that if these violations do occur, that they are not allowed to develop into mass atrocities.

This is what is at the heart of the Secretary-General Human Right’s up Front initiative.

In his letter dated 24 December 2015, the Secretary General underlined that this initiative is an effort to achieve existing prevention mandates and that ultimately, it aims to prevent human rights violations through cultural and operational change.

In a world where conflicts have become increasingly deadly in recent years and where contributions to the UN come with high expectations, such a focus on prevention and on integrated and effective UN action across the three pillars, takes on renewed significance.

The Deputy Secretary-General has already briefed member states about this important initiative on two separate occasions and I welcome his efforts to ensure that that conversation continues here today.

Deputy Secretary-General, Mr Jan Eliasson, you have the floor.