Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 27th Regular Session

Statement after action by Australia

26 September 2014

Australia was pleased to participate actively in the 27th session of the Human Rights Council, including as the lead sponsor of the resolution on national human rights institutions (NHRIs).

Australia was disappointed that a few delegations signalled that they did not agree with some elements of the important resolution on NHRIs. We are, however, pleased that it was adopted without a vote by the Human Rights Council yesterday.

There should be no doubt that Australia supports absolutely the independence of national human rights institutions, as well as the independent International Coordinating Committee of national human rights institutions. Any suggestions to the contrary are ill founded.

Despite our best efforts and many hours of intensive bilateral and open consultations during which we explained and discussed the resolution’s focus, and the rationale for particular paragraphs, it was regrettably not possible to come to a common understanding with these few delegations. We shall continue this dialogue given the importance of the subject matter involved.

We will also continue support the work of the OHCHR, the International Coordinating Committee for NHRIs and NHRIs, and highly value their contribution to the Human Rights Council.

Mr President,

Australia was pleased to co-sponsor the resolution on civil society space. We regret that the participation of appropriately accredited civil society organisations and actors continues to be questioned by some delegations. We value highly civil society’s input, which is an essential feature of the Council, and urge all delegations to respect their participation and contributions.

Mr President,

Australia warmly welcomes the Human Rights Council’s adoption of the resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. We were pleased to have co-sponsored this timely initiative. It is clearly within the mandate of this Council to discuss and adopt resolutions on discrimination and violence against persons on the basis of their perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity. We should be united in our common objective to end such violence and discrimination.