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Statements Special Procedures

Global leaders must recommit to the principles of Human Rights: UN experts

12 December 2023

GENEVA (12 December 2023) – On the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, global leaders must recommit to the principles of human rights, UN experts said today. They issued the following statement:

“We, the independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council wish to highlight contemporary challenges facing the world, such as armed conflicts, democratic backsliding, gender backlash, environmental crises and the rising threat of disinformation. The UN system, instrumental in the international protection of human rights, faces unprecedented tests as States neglect to uphold the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration.

Climate change poses a substantial threat to the realisation of all human rights, in addition to exacerbating inequalities, poverty, displacement, conflicts, food insecurity and forced migration to name a few. Developed countries and companies must contribute proportionally to the Loss and Damage Fund established at COP28 and emphasised the importance of recognising Indigenous Peoples’ role in biodiversity conservation.

New technologies present great potential for promoting all human rights but technologies need to align with international human rights standards, prioritising privacy, digital inclusion and addressing adverse impacts of emerging technologies. We note progress on the achievement of the millennium and sustainable development goals, but we continue to grapple with the challenge of leaving no one behind.

In the face of crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and violent extremism, the establishment of the special procedures is one of the significant achievements of the human rights system. States must reaffirm their commitment to human rights and the mechanisms that protect them.

As the UN prepares for the Summit of the Future, we call on Member States to ensure the summit is built on the bedrock of human rights, permeating all aspects of development, peace and security. We call for a commitment to a transformative human rights system for the next 75 years, emphasising the principles of non-discrimination, equality, participation, empowerment and accountability.


See full statement here.

The Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts and Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures' experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

For further information and media requests, please contact: Nathalie Rondeux ([email protected]) or Giacomo Di Noto ([email protected]).

For media enquiries regarding other UN independent experts, please contact Dharisha Indraguptha ([email protected]).

Follow news related to the UN's independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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