Inside the High-Level Thematic Debate on Human Rights

By Marta Bautista

International peace advocate Alaa Murabit (Photo: UN Photo)

On July 12-13, the President of the General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, organised a High-Level Thematic Debate of the UN General Assembly centered on human rights. The event focused on how to reinforce the foundations of the international human rights framework, as well as the framework’s contribution to peace, security and sustainable development.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon highlighted the importance of human rights in his opening statement, declaring, “In our connected world, we all need human rights for peace and prosperity because repressive policies make no one safe”. Several interactive segments followed, allowing experts to discuss key challenges preventing the full implementation of human rights and ways to overcome such barriers, including the roles of Member States and civil society. Challenges highlighted included the implementation of national and international laws and treaties; the difficulty of civil society to access the UN and be considered as allies by Member States; and the lack of funds to finance civil society and the lack of recognition of women’s work.

During the debate, Member States reaffirmed their commitments to protecting human rights and the value it has to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development goals. Other themes touched on included the need to mainstream human rights across the UN agenda and its value in the face of global threats.

For a more detailed analysis of the debate, please click here.