Media Releases

Adams to address Human Rights Council in Geneva

Saturday, March 12, 2016 - 12:30

Ms Adams today leaves for Europe to attend several meetings covering human rights and efforts to combat corruption.

In Geneva, Ms Adams will lead a delegation to present the Government’s latest report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to the UN Human Rights Committee. Ms Adams will also deliver a National Statement to the UN Human Rights Council.

“To be the first New Zealand Minister to deliver a speech to the Human Rights Council is an honour,” Ms Adams says.

“New Zealand has a strong track record of human rights – both within our own shores and on the global stage. We’re a nation that prides itself on fairness and equal opportunity for everyone.

“At first glance, family violence might not appear an obvious human rights issue. But the reality is that it has insidious effects on the way victims can exercise their rights to live and work in freedom, associate with whomever they choose, and enjoy the right to family life.

“The Government acknowledges our country’s high rate of family violence and I look forward to discussing with the Human Rights Council the steps we’re taking to prevent and reduce family violence. 

“To gain an international perspective on the progress New Zealand is making will be invaluable.”

Ms Adams will also attend the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Anti-bribery Ministerial Meeting in Paris, where she will present on empowering whistleblowers.

“The Protected Disclosures Act 2000 makes New Zealand one of only a few jurisdictions with a dedicated whistleblower protection law,” Ms Adams says.

“We remain one of the top countries in the world for low corruption and open transparency. Our attendance at the meeting affirms our commitment to advancing the objectives of the OECD’s Working Group on Bribery and our drive to combat corruption in New Zealand.”

In December 2015, New Zealand ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, a binding global agreement to address corruption. The necessary changes to ratify the Convention were made by the recently passed Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill, which amended 15 Acts. 

“Ratification is a clear signal that New Zealand values a corruption-free international trading system,” Ms Adams says.

Ms Adams will also have a series of bilaterals with international counterparts, including Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove. She will also meet with OECD Director for Science, Technology and Innovation, Andy Wyckoff.