Human Rights Council 47th Session – Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to health – 23 June 2021 – Nordic-Baltic Intervention by H.E. Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi, Estonia

Madame President,

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

We warmly welcome Madam Tlaleng Mofokeng as the new Special Rapporteur on the right to health and congratulate her on her appointment.

The current global pandemic has highlighted glaring disparities between people’s enjoyment of all human rights. The overloaded health systems, reallocation of human and financial resources and disruption in global supply chains have undermined the right to health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, particularly for women and girls.

Madam Special Rapporteur, we thank you for your first report to the Human Rights Council outlining the priority themes for your work in the coming years. We warmly welcome your intended focus on SRHR, with special attention to the needs of adolescents, access to information and education, the role of digital technologies and accountability mechanisms, and participation of all stakeholders in this context. The ability for all women and girls to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, and to have access to the information they need to make healthy decisions plays a critical role in their full and equal enjoyment of all human rights.

Madame Mofokeng,

In your report, you refer to the work of different Special Rapporteurs. Do you already foresee some form of cooperation in support of promotion of the right to health including SRHR?

To conclude, we stand ready to support you in promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights.

I thank you!