52nd session of the Human Rights Council
Geneva, 7 March 2023
Statement by H.E. Permanent Representative of Portugal to
the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva,
Ambassador Rui Macieira
Speaking time – 1’30
Portugal aligns with the EU statement.
Allow me to start by congratulating the High Commissioner for his energy and leadership over the first four months of his mandate. The six important country missions he led are not only impressive but a clear sign of such dedication.
He can count on the continued support of Portugal to his mandate and to the Office, whose strict independence and impartiality we will continue to support.
In this year of anniversaries, we must remind ourselves that human rights are universal. They are not context-specific, and they transcend the boundaries of language, culture and geography. It is crucial that this Council continues to address, and preferably work to prevent, human rights violations and abuses, wherever and by whomever they are committed.
We must remember that all human beings are born free and equal. We commend the Human Rights 75 Initiative as well as the letter sent last week on the need to end racial discrimination.
In the context of the anniversaries, we must remind ourselves that human rights are indivisible, interrelated and of equal value. This Council cannot lose sight of the importance of economic, social and cultural rights. This is why Portugal is again presenting a resolution on this topic, with a focus on social protection. At a time when we are still recovering from COVID-19 and facing long-term challenges such as climate change or digitalization as well as short-term problems like inflationary pressures, we must modernize our social security systems to ensure that no one is left behind.