DPM Lukšić participates at UN Human Rights Council regular annual session
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Igor Lukšić launched his three-day working visit to Geneva by participating at the regular annual session of the Human Rights Council which takes place between 29 February and 25 March. DPM Lukšić participated at the high level segment, which encompassed a plenary session and a panel on introducing human rights into all the aspects of UN programmes and policies and a panel devoted to the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the two key international legal instruments for the protection and promotion of human rights – the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
In his address, Mr Lukšić voiced Montenegro’s full commitment to supporting and defending the integrity, interdependence, and functioning of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Looking back on the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Human Rights Council, Mr Lukšić underlined its leading role globally as a body aimed to improve the human rights agenda. “Today’s complex crises, violations, and abuses require ever more determined efforts by the United Nations and its member states. It is needed to reaffirm our commitment to a strong multilateral human rights system which will translate the norms into improvements on the ground, in every member state. Violations of human rights are important early warning signs of instability, conflict, and atrocities. In times of economic crises, inequalities can be further aggravated, while the vulnerable and marginalised groups are often facing greater risks and obstacles in the exercise of their rights.”
“Although promotion and protection of human rights is a key purpose and guiding principle of the United Nations, one of our main challenges remains to be a more coordinated use of all instruments and policies related to human rights,” Mr Lukšić has noted. He discussed ongoing political and humanitarian crises in which the rights and freedoms of individuals are systematically violated on a daily basis. In this respect, he underscored the importance of the newly adopted 2030 Agenda, which he noted recognises that peaceful and inclusive societies, access to justice, and effective and accountable institutions are essential for sustainable development. He noted that the Human Rights Council and the OHCHR need to undertake a new role of encouraging states to fulfill their human rights obligations arising from the Agenda in a timely manner.
At the sidelines of the session, DPM Lukšić met with United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach. The meeting underlined the importance of cooperation between Montenegro and UNECE, as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, particularly in the segments on environmental protection and urban development, which are central areas of cooperation between Montenegro and UNECE. A special attention was devoted to the future role of UNECE and UN regional commission in implementing the 2030 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals, especially in the context of defining a review mechanism.
The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer, with whom Mr Lukšić also met, underlined satisfaction with cooperation ICRC has with the Government of Montenegro, especially bearing in mind the importance Montenegro ascribes to humanitarian law. Mr Lukšić said that humanitarian catastrophes are one of the top priority challenges facing the international community, and he voiced readiness to improve cooperation with the ICRC even further. He welcomed the role of the ICRC and the International Federation, as well as the efforts and mobilizing and coordinating coherent and principled humanitarian action.
DPM Lukšić will resume his visit to Geneva by paying working visits to the UN headquarters and offices of other international organisations. The meetings will serve as opportunities for furthering the cooperation between Montenegro and international organisations in Geneva, as well as to strengthen support to programme activities at national and regional levels.