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HRC46: The Nordic-Baltic countries stress that human rights must be the foundation for sustainable economic development and poverty alleviation

Madame President,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and my own country, Norway.

We are concerned that the vaguely defined concept of “mutually beneficial cooperation” seeks to place undue emphasis on non-interference at the expense of open and honest dialogue. 

Eradicating poverty requires leaving no one behind. A human rights based approach to poverty eradication ensures the focus on – and involvement of – the most marginalised individuals, ensuring that all their human rights are respected. 
All civil and political rights and social, economic, and cultural rights go hand in hand - they are mutually dependent and reinforcing. Deprivation of one human right negatively impacts the full enjoyment of other rights.

The pandemic has exposed inequalities and highlighted violations of social and economic rights of those living in poverty. Human beings who live in poverty are more likely to suffer discrimination, to be victims of modern slavery, to be arbitrarily arrested, tortured and killed. 
Independent courts are necessary to uphold the rule of law and to ensure accountability for human rights violations. Rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association are essential to be able to stand up for one’s rights.

In the Nordic & Baltic countries, we have good experiences with building our societies on human rights, gender equality, democracy and the rule of law, and maintaining  low levels of inequality. This facilitates trust – in the Government and between persons. 

Our goal must be to enable individuals to live free and dignified lives. To fulfil their right to an adequate standard of living, including access to nutritious food, clothing and housing, health care, education and fair wages and decent working conditions, which the right to organize has been paramount. The right to decide over your own life, the right to decide over your own body.

Over 90% of the SDGs correspond to human rights obligations. Human rights must be the foundation for sustainable economic development and poverty alleviation.