Human Rights Council 49th session: General Debate - PR UN, WTO and other organisations Geneva

Human Rights Council 49th Session: General Debate  | 08-03-2022

Statement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Delivered by H.E. Paul Bekkers, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Mr. President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns itself with the EU statement.

Madam High Commissioner,

The Human Rights Council has a crucial role in responding to specific situations where large scale, systemic human rights violations go unpunished. The truth can only be found through independent fact-finding and evidence-gathering, often by brave people on the ground who are prepared to risk everything. Therefore it is of utmost importance that UN-mandated investigators have full and unhindered access to countries where the most serious crimes go unpunished, such as in Myanmar, Syria and Afghanistan. We must consistently call for cooperation with all mandate holders and make sure that mandates, such as the Fact Finding Mission in Libya and Venezuela, are renewed as necessary.

UN-created investigative mandates and evidence gathering mechanisms fill a gap in the global accountability architecture. However, these mechanisms can be further improved, amongst others by greater dialogue, coordination, and cooperation between all stakeholders of accountability mechanisms and by minimizing conflicts in mandates when there are various investigations documenting the same situation.

Madam High Commissioner,

Please allow me to end this statement with an appeal to all members of this Council to support independent human rights monitoring and investigation. Not only because perpetrators should be held responsible for the crimes they committed, but perhaps even more important, to create an atmosphere in which respect for human beings is present, so that delivering criminal justice indeed has a strong deterrent effect. We do not want to go down a slippery slope where valuable rules suddenly turn out to be worthless, because countries can simply flout them. Impunity destroys the foundations on which our rights rest. It sets the entire world back.

Thank you.