Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 25th Regular Session

Australian statement at the high-level dialogue on the promotion of preventative approaches within the UN system

4 March 2014

Australia welcomes the opportunity this high-level dialogue brings to strengthen preventative approaches within the UN System.

Preventing human rights violations is one of the core purposes of the UN. The Human Rights Council plays a critical role in preventing human rights violations through the dialogue and cooperation it leads.

Australia welcomes the Rights Up Front Initiative launched by the UN Secretary General in December last year (2013) which aims to mainstream the promotion of human rights across the UN system. We see the Rights Up Front initiative as an inspirational preventive approach.

Australia is also a strong supporter of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and welcomes the fact that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has made implementation of R2P a priority for his second term. Prevention lies at the heart of R2P. As the Secretary-General has said this means taking “pro-active, decisive and early action to stop violence before it has begun”.

Building the capacity of national governments to protect their populations is essential if we are to make R2P a reality on the ground. We believe the Human Rights Council has a very important role to play in taking forward R2P in the human rights context.

Australia looks forward to this year’s interactive debate on R2P which will focus on Pillar Two and State Responsibility and will be another opportunity to highlight the importance of preventative approaches in the UN system.

Australia has joined Ghana, Denmark and Costa Rica as co-facilitators of the Global Network for R2P Focal Points because of the importance we place on preventing mass atrocity crimes.