UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL - Universal Periodic Review (UPR) pre-session for the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Statement delivered by H.E. Lars Tummers, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Statement at the Universal Periodic Review pre-session organised by UPR Info, for the Kingdom of the Netherlands on 29 August 2022. It stresses that in light of the challenges we are all facing, whether they are due to for example technology or social developments, human rights will remain one of the corner stones for Netherlands national and foreign policy, as well as our cooperation and continuous dialogue with all levels of society.

Good morning everyone,

In light of the challenges we are all facing, whether they are due to for example technology or social developments, human rights will remain one of the corner stones for Netherlands national and foreign policy, as well as our cooperation and continuous dialogue with all levels of society.

Let me start by thanking UPR info for organising the UPR pre-sessions once again. They have become a vital part of the UPR process, providing civil society organisations a podium to officially contribute. Their crucial role in adding expertise and assessments from the situation on the ground, cannot be stressed enough. I look forward to hearing the important contributions of everyone present here today, on the human rights situation in the four countries that form the Kingdom of The Netherlands.

Since our last UPR in 2017, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has tried to work on all the recommendations, for instance by drafting a second National Action Plan on Human Rights. We have taken one particular theme to heart; discrimination and racism. It was clear from the recommendations that our response to discrimination and racism needs to be improved. To achieve this, we have put in place both a National Coordinator and a State Commission against Discrimination and Racism.

The National Coordinator is currently drafting a multiannual national programme, in cooperation with relevant stakeholders, which will identify targeted actions to further eliminate discrimination and racism.

The State Commission will conduct long-term and in-depth scientific research into discrimination in the Netherlands, which will help to further improve the fight against discrimination.

We are equally eager to start working on the next set of recommendations after our review in November. We acknowledge that even in established democracies, human rights cannot be taken for granted and require continuous attention. It is against this background that my country attaches great importance to the Universal Periodic Review, including the pre-session, and we stand ready to engage in a dialogue on our own human rights record.

This pre-session is a good follow-up of the national consultations we held with civil society last April. A new round of consultations will be planned after the UPR session in November to dive into the recommendations together. This will allow us to base our approach for the next four years in the whole of the Kingdom based on the invaluable input of civil society.

That being said, let’s move on to the important part of this session, your views, suggestions. I am looking forward to your presentations and interventions.

Thank you.