Today we officially launch Australia’s candidacy for membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2018-20 term.

This is the first time Australia has sought membership of the Human Rights Council.

Our inaugural candidacy embodies our commitment to the aims and purposes of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the ongoing promotion and protection of human rights, both here in Australia and around the world.

On the Council, Australia would focus on advancing the rights of women and girls, governance and democratic institutions, freedom of expression, religious freedoms, human rights for indigenous peoples around the globe, and national human rights institutions.

We would continue to be a strong advocate for global abolition of the death penalty, one of Australia’s core human rights objectives.

Australia would aim to advance human rights in practical, sensible ways that have far reaching systematic effects over time – with a focus on our Indo-Pacific region.

We would bring a principled and pragmatic approach to our term on the Human Rights Council, the same approach we demonstrated during our recent membership of the UN Security Council.

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