On 3 December, QUNO NY Director, Andrew Tomlinson, spoke as the only NGO representative on a high-level panel discussion, The place of human rights in a reformed United Nations: A transatlantic human rights dialogue, held at UN headquarters. The panel was convened by Switzerland and Germany as the Co-Chairs of the Human Rights/Conflict Prevention Caucus, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) and Universal Rights Group (URG).
In his remarks, Mr. Tomlinson sought to underscore that the promotion and protection of human rights is both the foundation of peace and security, sustainable development, and conflict prevention, and is the key force to achieving the 2030 Agenda’s aspiration of fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies. At this meeting, attended by member states and UN colleagues, Mr. Tomlinson reflected that, not only are human rights the backbone to prevention, sustainable peace, and sustainable development, human rights also codify our common humanity, providing the foundation for human dignity and just societies. Human rights, he said, "give us the words to say I see you, I know you, I am you, to every child, woman and man".
The UN derives much of its relevance and legitimacy from its embrace of human rights as an organizing principle and a moral driver. QUNO is honored to have contributed to this, and future, dialogues.