Secretary General addresses United Nations Human Rights Council | Eurasia Diary -

20 April, Tuesday

Secretary General addresses United Nations Human Rights Council

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On 22 February Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić addressed the 46th session of the Human Rights Council by video link.
This is natural because the Council of Europe and the United Nations share so much in common.
Not just a belief in human rights.
But faith in multilateralism.
And a determination to make progress both in the current climate and beyond it.
The threats to human rights that existed before coronavirus have not gone away.
They continue, and so does our work to confront them.
Whether we think about freedom of expression and media freedom, hate speech online and offline, discrimination against minorities, the independence of the judiciary or the fights against corruption, money-laundering and cybercrime, the challenges are plain to see.
But even in these extraordinary times, progress is possible.
On the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, the Council of Europe’s Lanzarote Convention has now been ratified by all our member states.
On the environment, we are working towards new legal instruments that will protect Human Rights and counter environmental crimes.
And on Artificial Intelligence, we are progressing on the elements of a framework for the development, design and application of AI, following the guidelines we published last month on the use of facial recognition technology.
I am also happy to confirm that I have recently appointed a Special Representative on Antisemitic, anti-Muslim and other forms of religious intolerance and hate crimes.
He is liaising with member states and other international organisations, including with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, on ways to address these problems.
There are plenty of other good and welcome examples of where our two organisations work together.
And I was particularly pleased that my Special Representative on Migration and Refugees was able to participate in last November’s European Review of the Global Compact for Migration.
But we should always look out for new ways in which we can learn, complement and bolster one another.
Take the Council of Europe’s monitoring bodies.
It is good that they already contribute positively to the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review,
And right that we are now looking to coordinate our monitoring more efficiently – to better facilitate reporting obligations and reduce monitoring fatigue.
More ambitious still, we should be open to the idea that we can coordinate monitoring practices more effectively between our Organisations too.
This is important for avoiding duplication.
Any changes would of course have the same shared goal as all our joint work:
To ensure that we complement one another and that we remain relevant and effective.
With a European human rights Organisation with common legal standards working hand in hand with a global human rights Organisation of unparalleled reach.
Together, we can embed the reality of human rights more deeply in these and whatever future circumstances we face.
And from this, only good things can come.


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