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Human Rights at the General Assembly (Third Committee)


At the Third Committee, Ireland focuses on key priorities such as gender equality, civil society and human rights defenders.

Of the six main committees within the General Assembly the Third Committee focuses on human rights.

Topics addressed at the Third Committee include:

  • the examination of independent reports of the Human Rights Council
  • the advancement of women
  • the protection of children
  • indigenous issues
  • the treatment of refugees
  • the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and
  • the promotion of the right to self-determination.

At the Third Committee Ireland focuses on key priorities such as gender equality, civil society and human rights defenders.

Ireland actively engages in all Third Committee initiatives that look to promote and protect the human rights of women, including important resolutions on eliminating violence against women; preventing Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM); and addressing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The Third Committee provides a platform where Ireland can look to protect Human Rights Defenders. These are people who, individually or with others, act to promote or protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. In 2013, we led for the EU in negotiations on a Norwegian resolution on human rights defenders. We also promote the need to address reprisals against human rights defenders who look to cooperate with the UN system, a worrying trend growing increasingly common.

Ireland has joined others in pushing for strong references to civil society in a range of resolutions in the Third Committee and other fora. We presented a national initiative, adopted in the Human Rights Council in September 2013, entitled ‘Civil society space: creating and maintaining, in law and practice, a safe and enabling environment’.