Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 30th Regular Session

Item 8 General Debate

Follow up to Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action

Australian Statement

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action states that the international community should devise ways and means to remove the current obstacles and meet challenges to the full realization of all human rights and to prevent the continuation of human rights violations resulting therefrom throughout the world.

More than 20 years after the VDPA’s adoption, we need to redouble our efforts to prevent human rights violations and abuses. In this regard, Australia welcomes the ongoing work of the OHCHR, including its latest report, on the role of prevention in the promotion and protection of human rights. We strongly endorse the report’s findings.

The prevention of human rights violations requires States to proactively and systematically address risk factors; to ensure good governance, the rule of law, and equal access to justice; to establish National Human Rights Institutions; and to support an active and vibrant civil society and effective human rights education.

Human rights violations are frequently clear early warning indicators for escalating violence and the potential for atrocity crimes to be committed, making efforts to prevent human rights abuses all the more crucial.

Ten years ago world leaders unanimously endorsed the Responsibility to Protect populations from mass atrocities crimes at the 2005 UN World Summit. On this tenth anniversary, we have a unique opportunity to strengthen the role the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms can play in preventing these most heinous of human rights abuses.