Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 19th Regular Session

Panel discussion on technical cooperation to promote the sharing of

experiences  and best practices and technical cooperation in the

promotion and  protection of human rights

CANZ Statement

21 March 2012

I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand - three countries that share a commitment to protecting and promoting human rights for all, around the world.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand welcome the opportunity to take part in this first thematic discussion on technical cooperation in the promotion and protection of human rights. Technical cooperation is vital to support the implementation of important Universal Periodic Review recommendations for many states.

We value the efforts made by all states, particularly Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), to engage constructively in the first UPR cycle. To ensure opportunities are seized to implement UPR recommendations, small and developing states have already requested technical cooperation and states should respond positively to this call. During the first cycle of the UPR, all three of our countries have been pleased to work with other friends of SIDS and LDCs to provide practical assistance to States without representation in Geneva visiting for their UPR.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand are committed to supporting the Human Rights Council’s efforts to offer a level playing field for States to participate fully and equally in the UPR.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand are pleased to contribute voluntary funding to OHCHR as part of our commitment to human rights programs and institutions.

Australia acknowledges the High Commissioner’s principal responsibility for United Nations human rights activities, and Australia is pleased to contribute funding to support to small and developing states through the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Participation in the UPR Mechanism.

New Zealand is very pleased to contribute technical assistance and capacity building though its Aid Programme in a number of countries, such as projects for the enjoyment of the right to education or through funding for national human rights institutions. The New Zealand Human Rights Commission is currently undertaking a pilot human rights audit of education legislation in Pacific Island countries. This work is in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and funded by New Zealand's Aid Programme. It will produce an audit report of the education legislation for three selected countries and a finalised right to education framework audit tool that will be adaptable to other Pacific countries.

Canada is pleased to have contributed to follow-up and implementation of UPR commitments through supporting development assistance initiatives in several partner countries. Canada is also very pleased to have provided guidance and support to States, at their request, in the field of promotion and protection of human rights, and has benefited from good practices emulated by others.

We are aware of efforts made by the UN system to mainstream human rights throughout their work, to enhance their efforts to improve human rights mainstreaming at the national level and to provide more targeted in-country technical assistance. We would be interested to hear from OHCHR and UNDP about how that mechanism has been operating to date.