Today, at the 47th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Council adopted by consensus an Irish-led resolution championing civil society space. Ireland, together with a core group of Chile, Japan, Sierra Leone and Tunisia, brought this initiative to the Council to highlight the essential role civil society plays in the Covid-19 response and recovery. The resolution also draws attention to the growing challenges facing civil society, which have been compounded by the pandemic.
The resolution mandates the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report that examines in detail the key challenges identified by civil society as impeding their activities, and provides recommendations to address these. This will be discussed at the Council in 2022. An inclusive approach will be taken to the preparation of the report, with the participation of all relevant stakeholders, in particular civil society.
Speaking following the resolution’s adoption, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D., said:
“With pressure on civil society increasing in every geographic region, I am delighted that Ireland has again led at the Human Rights Council on championing civil society participation.
The Resolution adopted today is an important incremental step in ensuring that this vital issue continues to receive the international attention that it so rightly deserves and demands. I wish to thank all those who contributed to its successful adoption, including our civil society partners in Ireland, Geneva and beyond.
Ireland looks forward to working with other stakeholders to ensure that the implementation of this resolution is comprehensive and involves the meaningful participation of civil society actors, including at grass roots level and those most marginalised.
Ireland’s prioritisation of civil society extends far beyond the Human Rights Council. While on the UN Security Council we are engaging daily with civil society, both here in Ireland and internationally, to benefit from their invaluable experience and expertise, and we are committed to bringing their voices directly to the Council table.
A strong and vibrant civil society that actively contributes to our societies and calls us to account is in all our collective interests. Ireland will continue to speak out when civil society is threatened and maintain our staunch support for the protection and promotion of civil society space.”
12 July 2021