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34th Session of the Human Rights Council: Report of Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

17 Mar 2017

STATEMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LAW ORGANIZATION

34th Session of the Human Rights Council: Report of Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

March 15, 2017

Geneva

Delivered by Hector Guerra, Office of the Permanent Observer to the United Nations and other International Organizations, IDLO

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Mr. Chair,

The Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law demonstrates the growing recognition that the rule of law is key to closing the gap between human rights aspirations and human rights realities. Rule of law is essential to promoting and protecting human rights, creating and maintaining peace and security, and advancing sustainable development.

The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) commends the collective leadership of Morocco, Norway, Peru, Republic of Korea, Romania and Tunisia, as the Core Group of the Resolution on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law and its creation of the Forum. IDLO was pleased to support the Core Group in its planning of the first edition of the Forum in November 2016 and remains at the disposal of the Core Group as it ensures the continuing contribution of this important Forum in advancing human rights.

The rule of law operationalizes human rights through constitutional and legal protection, an independent and impartial judicial system, effective legal remedies, and competent institutions. The rule of law enables implementation of many of the recommendations set out in the Report of the Forum.

For example, to enable the participation of young women in public affairs, as per paragraph 24 of the Report, law reforms must ensure gender equality and women and girls must have access to information on their rights.

Paragraph 41 recommends the establishment or strengthening of accessible and inclusive structures to foster youth participation in all institutions. Ensuring youth participation requires institutional and legal reforms. Building effective, accountable and transparent institutions, as stated in SDG 16, is essential to developing public trust in the justice sectors and ensuring the peaceful resolution of disputes.

Paragraph 73 emphasizes the importance of education and training in raising awareness among young people of human rights instruments and mechanisms. The success of this recommendation rests on the development of education and training programs, which could require institutional and legal reform, and empowering individuals and communities so that they are fully informed of their rights and have access to justice.

These are just a few of the many examples of how investment in the rule of law is indispensable to the implementation of the Report’s recommendations.

As the Council prepares for the next Forum, IDLO encourages the continued reflection on how “Human Rights”, “Democracy” and “Rule of Law” support, reinforce and rely on one another. All three are fundamentally interlinked and interdependent. Each requires focused attention in its own right if any or all are to be strengthened.

IDLO calls on the Council to continue to foster the contribution of rule of law to the advancement of human rights and stands ready to support the Council as it takes forward future editions of the Forum.

Thank you.

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The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity.