UN system of human rights rapporteurs must continue, Hungary says
The system of using United Nations special rapporteurs and independent experts to investigate the human rights situation around the world gives “voice to the voiceless,” Hungary’s Foreign Minister told the General Assembly today as she called for the network of monitors to be allowed to continue their work.
Kinga Göncz said the rapporteurs and experts – several dozen unpaid individuals who report to the UN Human Rights Council – have provided “effective action for the benefit of victims of human rights abuses” as they probe rights problems relating to specific nations or issues.
“We are firmly convinced that both thematic and country-specific mandates remain valid in the face of the numerous human rights violations still occurring on a daily basis,” Ms. Göncz told the Assembly’s annual high-level debate.
“In this regard, we concur with the Secretary-General, who emphasized the need to consider all situations of possible human rights violations on an equal footing.”
Ms. Göncz added that a particular country was not absolved from its international human rights obligations just because a special rapporteur was not assigned to it.
The Foreign Minister welcomed the consensus around the Council’s “universal periodic review” mechanism, which allows for all countries, regardless of size or status, to have their human rights record scrutinized regularly.
But for this mechanism to be truly meaningful, “we have to build a credible and robust mechanism,” she said, with contributions to the review from treaty bodies, special procedures and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Ms. Göncz also praised the Council’s recent decision to establish a forum on minority issues, voicing confidence that it will “provide a useful platform for dialogue and exchange of views between minorities, governments and other stakeholders on issues related to national or ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities.”