Podgorica, Montenegro (2 March 2016) — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Igor Lukšić began a three-day working visit to Geneva by participating in the annual session of the UN Human Rights Council, taking place from 29 February to 25 March. Deputy Prime Minister Lukšić took part in the field session at a high level, which in addition to the plenary session included a panel discussion on the introduction of human rights into all aspects of programmes and policies of the UN and a debate on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of key international legal instruments for the protection and promotion of human rights, namely the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
In his speech, the Deputy Prime Minister expressed the full commitment of Montenegro to support and protect the integrity, interdependence and functioning of the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights. Commenting on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Human Rights Council, Mr Lukšić pointed to its leadership role at the global level as a body that works to advance the human rights agenda.
“Today’s complex crises, violations and abuses require ever greater commitment in the efforts of the United Nations and its member states. We need to renew commitment to a strong multilateral system of human rights protection that will implement norms towards achieving visible improvements on the ground in each member state. Human rights’ violations are an important early sign of instability, conflict and depravity. In times of economic crisis, inequalities deepen further and vulnerable and marginalised groups often face increased risks and obstacles to enjoy their rights,” he emphasised.
“Although the promotion and protection of human rights are the key purpose and guideline of the United Nations, one of the main obstacles remains closer cooperation and coordination in the implementation of all instruments and policies aimed at the protection of human rights,” DPM Lukšić noted. He commented on the current political and humanitarian crisis in which individual rights and freedoms are violated on a daily basis. In that regard, he stressed the importance of the recently adopted Agenda 2030, which recognised that sustainable development requires inclusive societies, available legal protection, as well as efficient and accountable institutions. The Deputy Prime Minister said that the Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner should take a new role in encouraging states to timely fulfill its obligations to protect human rights stemming from the new development agenda.
Deputy Prime Minister Lukšić also met in Geneva with Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Deputy Prime Minister Lukšić will continue his stay in Geneva by visiting headquarters of the UN and other international organisations for talks on further cooperation improvement and strengthening support for undertaking activities at national and regional levels.
Source: Government of Montenegro