Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council – 18th Session

Update by the High Commissioner

Statement by Australia

12 September 2011

Australia thanks the High Commissioner for her update.

Australia values the independence of the OHCHR and commends the High Commissioner for her public statements on situations of human right violations, particularly the situation in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere.

We acknowledge the valuable work of OHCHR human rights field officers engaged in human rights promotion and protection in insecure and hardship environments. In particular, we remember and send our condolences to the victims of the attack on the UN headquarters in Abuja, and to their families. As Prime Minister Gillard noted while condemning the bombings, “an attack on the United Nations is an attack on us all.”

We also welcome the High Commissioner’s strong support for national human rights institutions, which play an invaluable role in promoting and protecting human rights around the world.

We thank the High Commissioner’s Office for its efforts to ensure successful participation in the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism by all states, particularly least developed and small states. We encourage the Office to continue its valuable work and outreach to states as we move towards the second cycle of the UPR.