‘Poor cooperation leaves states adrift,’ says Volker Turk
The UN human rights chief on Monday urged states for more cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to advance human rights.
“We are now at a crucial juncture, 75 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and 30 years after the Vienna Declaration – against the backdrop of flaring conflicts, the Sustainable Development Agenda dangerously off-track, and environmental harm threatening humanity,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said.
“International cooperation is vital so that we can advance human rights,” Turk told the opening session of 53rd Human Rights Council.
He warned: “Poor cooperation leaves states adrift. Selective cooperation weakens that lifeline’s force.”
Turk underlined that cooperation with UN on human rights is a lifeline made of many cords bound together, like “a sailor’s rope.”
Engaging with OHCHR field presences is a “hallmark” of states constructively cooperating to advance human rights, he said.
Regarding reporting requirements, the UN rights chief said only 37 states or regional organizations are currently up to date with all their reporting requirements to the treaty bodies, while a total of 601 reports by states are overdue.
Additionally, he expressed will for scaling up engagement with Brazil, Central Asia, Ecuador, Kenya, Mozambique, the US, as well as the Caribbean region.
“I also believe that it is important for us to establish a presence for the first time in China and India – two countries which together comprise more than one-third of the world’s population,” he said.