Human Rights Council 53rd Session: Item 2 – Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner - PR UN, WTO and other organisations Geneva

Human Rights Council - 53rd Session:  Item 2 – Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner | 20-06-2023

Statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Paul Bekkers, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Mr. President,

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

This year, when we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UDHR and the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action, it is essential that the UN family stand together in support of the fundamental, universal and intrinsic value of all human rights.

And that we all stand up for civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights, for everyoneeverywhere.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression.

Freedom of Opinion and Expression is a bridge to the fulfillment of other rights. A bridge we need now more than ever.

That is why we are worried by the further decline of media freedom and safety of journalists in Russia and China, to the detriment of independent media coverage in these countries. At the same time we are witnessing severe crackdowns on independent media and media workers in Iran and Sudan.

Such examples have strengthened our resolve to stand up for freedom of expression ensuring that everyone can have a voice to stand up for their rights.

A resolve not only motivated by negative trends but more importantly inspired by improvements seen in a diverse set of countries for example in Brazil, Malaysia and Botswana as documented by the RSF 2023 World Press Freedom Index.

Thank you.