Human Rights Council - 27th Regular Session
Item 8 – General Debate
Follow up and implementation of Vienna Declaration and Program of Action
Statement by Australia
23 September 2014
This Council session, Australia is pleased to once again lead on a resolution highlighting the crucial and unique role independent and pluralistic NHRIs play in promoting and protecting human rights.
Australia commends the commitment of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in supporting the establishment and strengthening of national human rights institutions (NHRIS) around the world and welcomes further efforts in this area. We encourage the new High Commissioner to continue to give priority to this important work.
We take this opportunity to encourage all countries that have not already done so, to establish a national human rights institution compliant with the Paris Principles, and to work with the OHCHR and International Coordinating Committee and its members to this end. Australia reaffirms its own commitment for these institutions, and notes “A” status should only be granted to NHRIs that are fully compliant with the Paris Principles.
We particularly welcome the important work of the International Coordinating Committee for NHRIs in increasing the engagement of NHRIs in the Human Rights Council’s mechanisms as well as with the treaty bodies.
At the regional level, Australia welcomes the work of the OHCHR in providing support to national institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. We view this work as critical in countries without regional human rights mechanisms and encourage OHCHR to provide continued assistance. We also commend the ongoing work of the Asia-Pacific Forum for NHRIs and the Australian Human Rights Commission in promoting and protecting human rights both domestically and in our region.