32nd Session of the Human Rights Council

While religious fundamentalism continues to dominate international headlines and many of the proceedings of the Council, we urge all states to acknowledge how various iterations of fundamentalism undermine the realization of human rights, including the right to assembly and association. While less visceral than religious fundamentalism, market, political, cultural and nationalism forms of fundamentalism, must assume greater prominence within discussions at the Council.

We reiterate the concerns expressed by the Special Rapporteur in his mission report to South Korea. While the Government of South Korea remains a stalwart advocate of civic space within the corridors of the Council, we remained deeply alarmed by the continued use of excessive force and arbitrary arrest to silence ongoing protests supporting accountability for the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster. In particular, we urge the Government of South Korea to end the judicial persecution of labor and civil society activists for exercising their right to assemble.

It is with tremendous admiration and regret that we acknowledge that today marks Mr Kiai’s last official presentation of his annual report to the Council. Since he assumed the mandate of Special Rapporteur in 2011, Mr Kiai has always spoken truth to power. Mr Kiai has shown unflinching resolve and dedication to the cause of civil society and has emerged as global champion of the fundamental rights to association and assembly. For his tireless support and solidarity, we remain exceedingly grateful.

We urge all member and observer states of the Council to take proactive steps to implement and domesticate the important civic space norms developed by the Special Rapporteur since the establishment of the mandate.

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