Australia joins UN Human Rights Council

January 3, 2018 by J-Wire
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Australia has taken up our seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, the world’s peak body responsible for human rights.

Ambassador John Quinn

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stated: “Australia’s resounding election to the Human Rights Council for an inaugural three-year term reflects our commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. We will work closely with other Council members, countries and civil society to advance human rights at home and around the globe.

It is in our national interest to shape the work of the Human Rights Council and uphold the international rules-based order.

Australia will be a principled, pragmatic and consultative Council member. We will bring a unique Indo-Pacific perspective to our term and amplify the voices of our Pacific neighbours in the Council.

During our term, we will take practical and sensible steps to advance five key areas: gender equality, freedom of expression, good governance and robust democratic institutions, human rights for indigenous peoples, and strong national human rights institutions.

Australia will also continue to advocate the abolition of the death penalty worldwide, freedom of religion and belief, the rights of persons with a disability and the rights of LGBTI communities.

As a Human Rights Council member, we will deliver on our commitment in the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper to promote a strong multilateral human rights system and to advance human rights, both here in Australia and around the world.”

Sitting on the Council representing Australia is the country’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, John Quinn.



2 Responses to “Australia joins UN Human Rights Council”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    An immediate, ostensible reality has become annoyingly palpable in relation to quite a few, if not all UN Agencies and it relates to the striking contradiction between the “founding” principles of all UN institutions and their actual, ostensive actions particularly in terms of principles observed.
    Israel has been for quite some time the litmus test of honesty, genuine respect for the very core existential function of the UN and its various implementation arms, its vast array of Committees etc.
    Australia must participate in whatever fora is supposed to sit or is periodically elected, but ours is a MINORITY voice of reason, alongside very few others in a painfully rich raft of important matters.
    We must be heard, indeed, but, in the effect, our voice of righteous stance may be drowned in an ocean of an open hostile majority.
    We do need to be heard, true, but, more importantly, we should be able to achieve fundamental changes, to sway the unfair, the vile waves of state antisemitism toward genuine universal morality, toward staving off the gangs of hatred mainly directed against Israel.
    Tragically, UN has managed to a great extent to institutionalise enmity against Israel and, implicitly, to some extent, against all those, Australia included, who have been striving to bring decency, and reason in a place created precisely for those very purposes.

    Let’s see what Ambassador Quinn ca achieve….see if useful, effective measures can be worked out…

    Must confess, I am not very optimistic on this one.

  2. Rodney Gouttman says:

    It is unclear how Australia will vote from a “Pacific” perspective now it is a member of this United Nation’s institution known for its utter anti-Israel disposition. The country’s record in recent months on the Israel/Palestinian conundrum, in particular, in recent days,refusing to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State, doesn’t fill one with much optimism.

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