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HRC38: Statement by the Nordic-Baltic countries in General Debate on the follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (item 8)

16.08.2018  14:08

02.07.2018

 Human Rights Council 38th Session.
 Item 8: General Debate

 2 July 2018

Thank you Mr. President,

This statement is made on behalf of the following countries:  Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Iceland.

With the adoption of the Vienna Declaration women’s rights were indisputably and once and for all recognized as human rights. The Nordic-Baltic countries attach great importance to gender equality but we still have a long way to go to ensure women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights.

To combat violence and discrimination against women and girls – and to advance our collective goal of eliminating it – our priority is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This means focusing on prevention and quality education, including comprehensive sexuality education. This also means engaging all stakeholders in creative ways and challenging the way we think about current norms.

Mr. President,
 There should be zero tolerance of harmful practices and we should not accept anything but ensuring women’s full and effective participation at all levels of decision-making in the political, economic and public life. It is also our belief that we cannot progress with equality unless we ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for all women and girls.

Finally Mr. President,
 The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action reinforced important principles, including the universality of human rights and the duty of States to uphold them. It unequivocally proclaimed women’s and girls’ rights and underscored the need to fight impunity including by building on the momentum which led to the creation of the ICC.

We, the Nordic-Baltic countries reaffirm our commitment to pursue these values and objectives and to work together to encourage other countries to do the same. 
 I thank you.