Human Rights Council 42nd Session – Item 8: General Debate

Human Rights Council 42nd Session.

Item 8: General Debate

 23 September 2019

Nordic-Baltic Intervention by

H.E. Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi, Estonia



Mr. President,


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

In 1993, an unprecedented number of government delegations gathered in Vienna to take a step forward in the promotion and protection of human rights. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action not only confirms the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights but also affirms that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. All states committed themselves on equal basis to respect, protect and fulfill all human rights, regardless of their historical, cultural or religious background, and their level of development. The VDPA clearly sets all human rights on an equal footing and articulates the responsibility of governments to promote and protect these rights.

We call on all states to join their efforts to deliver on their commitments pledged in Vienna 26 years ago, and reaffirmed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with the aim of leaving no one behind.

The Nordic and Baltic countries remain fully committed to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of all including all women and girls. Every human being enjoys the same human rights. We can only achieve and fulfill our goals and commitments to girls and women by tackling current inequalities to their full enjoyment of all human rights, especially the realization of their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Thank you!