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The ecosystem of human rights and current situation: Outcomes of the HR75 initiative

Dear human rights experts, dear colleagues,

It is a great pleasure for me to address you during this meeting on the ecosystem of human rights and current situations and the conclusions or take-aways of the HR75 initiative, especially for the European region.

I would like to thank The Institute for Human Rights and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, for the invitation and also pay tribute to the three national networks for human rights, the civil society network, the county administrative boards, and the networks of municipalities and regions who are collaborating in this endeavor.

Main take aways

It is very fitting to start my intervention by acknowledging that one of the main take-aways of the High-level Event, and the entire human rights 75 Initiative, is that it demonstrated that there is a strong global constituency for human rights.

There is demand for human rights discourse and exchange as evidenced by the event you are holding today, and many local and regional events that were organised by duty bearers and rights holders around the world, including in Sweden.

This demonstrates that there is a vibrant human rights ecosystem in Sweden, which needs to be nurtured for further growth.

At the high level event, regional and local events around the world, and a multitude of human rights talks, we heard a resounding message of renewed and reinvigorated commitment to the values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the greater cause of human rights.

There was a remarkable degree of consensus on the core issues across the four themes:

This echoed a renewed commitment to place human rights at the centre of solutions to these challenges.

The HR75 initiative allowed a rare opportunity for collective reflection on the trajectory for human rights and on the current crisis of implementation.

As you know there is a plethora of human rights recommendations emanating from Human Rights Council mandates, the special procedures mandate holders, treaty bodies, the UPR, as well as from the Office’s own mandate under the authority of the High Commissioner. What we need to focus on is implementation and how to assist States as duty bearers actually implement those recommendations.

The need for more dialogue, more creative solutions, and wider partnerships was echoed, with young people demanding meaningful and decisive participation in decision making.

Going forward, we believe that it is crucial to support States to maintain the momentum of Human Rights 75.

We need to amplify and support the pledges of States and rightsholders through messages of the Human Rights 75 initiative and through the Vision Statement of the High Commissioner which will be published in the coming weeks, as a roadmap for the next 25 years and as a contribution to the Summit of the Future.

This should be enriched by the continued, diverse and extensive engagement of all rights holders, namely, through the following messages:

On the pledges, we need to work to ensure that pledges, which are a concrete outcome, including in engagement with third countries, can be followed-up and realised by being compliant with and guided by international human rights law, and the recommendations of the international human rights mechanisms.

OHCHR’s own HR75 pledge is to support States in the implementation of their pledges and to be a trusted partner on human rights.

We are currently developing methodology for follow-up to pledges which will be shared with everyone who has made a pledge.

All pledges will be made available and searchable on the Universal Human Rights Index, which is accessible on the OHCHR website.

Finally, there will be a report on the year’s activities (regional dialogues, High level event, other engagements) which will be presented to the June session of the Human Rights Council.


See SLIDE 1: Pledges at a glance We received almost 800 pledges, including from 153 States (78% of States), and other actors (UN, CSOs, business, NHRIs, etc).

The fact that 153 States, including 26 of the 27 European Union member States, is a strong demonstration of the commitment of States to human rights.

See SLIDE 2: Main trends of State pledges infographic Pledges touch on women’s rights and gender equality, the rights of persons with disabilities, business and human rights, economic and social rights, treaty ratification, and follow-up to recommendations made by the Universal Periodic Review and other human rights mechanisms.

See SLIDE 3: Main trends of State pledges thematic Now let us look at the trends of State pledges and zooming into the larger European region.

Regional dialogue for Europe

Before ending let me also make specific reference to the outcomes of the regional dialogue for the Europe and Central Asia, co-organised by the OHCHR Regional Office for Europe with the Regional Office for Central Asia, and with the United Nations Environment Programme. The theme was the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

I will stop here and I will be very happy to hear your comments and suggestions.

Thank you.