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Human Rights Council – 35th Session (6-23 June 2017)

General Debate under Item 10 – Technical assistance and capacity building

Statement by Ireland

21 June 2017 

Ireland aligns itself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union and adds the following.

Mr President

The provision of technical cooperation and capacity-building is one critical part of the mandate of the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights as it strives to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights.

We welcome the OHCHR report on the progress and challenges in implementing technical cooperation and capacity building over the last decade (A/HRC/35/20), which offers clear evidence of the value and strength of these activities in increasing compliance with human rights obligations around the world.  We are encouraged by the very many good practices set out in the report and look forward to continuing advances in implementation of the commitments we all share to the protection of human rights.

We agree with the finding in the Report that OHCHR technical cooperation should not be seen as an isolated activity but rather as part of a multi-dimensional human rights strategy in line with the High Commissioner’s comprehensive mandate; and that technical cooperation alone is seldom effective unless coupled with strengthened accountability mechanisms.

Civil society has an essential role to play in embedding respect for human rights at all levels, national, regional and global.  Ireland shares the view expressed in the report that the OHCHR can contribute to building increased trust between governments and civil society through its cooperation with both as part of its technical assistance activities.

We welcome the report of the Independent Expert for technical cooperation with Cote d’Ivoire in the field of human rights (A/HRC/35/43) following his most recent visit earlier this year. In that regard, we appreciate that Cote d’Ivoire has initiated consideration of a Presidential Statement on the subject this session. We encourage continued engagement with the Council to further embed the considerable progress already made.

Finally, we thank the High Commissioner for the oral update in relation to cooperation with Georgia. We look forward to the written report expected in that regard at HRC 36 in September 2017 and continue to urge access for OHCHR and international and regional human rights mechanisms to Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia, in accordance with HRC resolution 34/37.

 

Thank you, Mr President