Human Rights Council - 27th Regular Session
Item 2 - General Debate
Statement by Australia
8 September 2014
Australia warmly welcomes the appointment of HE Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, especially given the extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy and international law which he brings this role. We look forward to deepening our engagement with the High Commissioner as he takes on this vitally important role in promoting and protecting human rights around the world.
Australia shares the grave concerns highlighted by the High Commissioner in his opening statement regarding the ongoing deterioration of the human rights situation in Iraq and Syria. We welcome the Council’s request for the OHCHR to send an emergency mission to Iraq to investigate human rights abuses committed by ISIL against the people of Iraq.
Australia has a strong record of being at the forefront of global and regional efforts to support and promote human rights over many years. Australia considers that the issue of irregular migration and asylum seekers taking dangerous boat journeys is complex with no easy answers.
Australia recognises the importance of regional cooperation in addressing this issue. Australia is committed to working with regional partners to stop the people smuggling trade, and build their capacity in processing and settling refugees.
Let me conclude by emphasising that Australia’s response to this complex issue is carried out consistently with the obligations contained in the human rights treaties to which Australia is a party.