General Debate Under Item 8: Follow-up to and Implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
Thank you Mr. President,
This is a joint statement by EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice.
Civil society as recognized in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action is critical to the functioning of the Human Rights Council regarding the assurance and awareness of human rights reporting and violations. For the sake of countless victims and their unheard voices it is warranted and paramount that the platform for civil society space must be increased and exercised.
The VDPA recognizes that, quote, “all human rights derive from the dignity and worth inherent in the human person, and that the human person is the central subject of human rights and fundamental freedoms”. Yet, in many instances economic and self-serving interests are continuously put ahead of the human person.
Forms of alien domination or foreign occupation are still active in all regions of the globe. Such as land grabbing by big businesses and extractive industries and discriminatory settlements that deliberately violate human rights, especially that of local, marginalized, and indigenous people, and even further, violators obstruct the activities of human rights and environmental defenders.
As well, harmful child labour, sale of children and children in armed conflict not only persist but are on the rise. For instance, within states currently engaged in armed conflict, militias or other governmental forces actively recruit and train children in military operations.
The VDPA calls for international cooperation and support, therefore;
We urge the Council to take immediate steps to better engage with civil society and we ask what necessary and practical steps civil society should take in order to be more effective at the Human Rights Council to;
hold governments accountable,
encourage the political will of governments?