Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 19th Regular Session

Item 3

Australian statement on the Report of the Secretary-General on reforming

the treaty body system

5 March 2012

The Australian Government welcomes the Report of the Secretary-General on harmonizing and reforming the treaty body system.

We recognise the importance of strengthening and improving the efficiency of the treaty body system, particularly in light of serious resource constraints across the UN system and the essential role the Committees play in enhancing people’s enjoyment of their rights.

We commend the High Commissioner for her ongoing leadership on this significant issue and the broad approach she has taken in consulting with all actors with an interest in the system, including States parties, national human rights institutions and civil society. Australia has valued the opportunity to actively participate in this process.

In principle, Australia supports the Secretary-General’s proposals of an interim calendar reflecting temporary increases in meeting time to address backlogs and a fixed calendar based on 100% compliance rate with reporting requirements. However, such proposals would need to be considered more closely in the context of the limited resources currently available to the system as a whole. Australia will continue to actively engage in this important dialogue and looks forward to receiving the High Commissioner’s report later this year.