Today Australia takes up our seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, the world’s peak body responsible for human rights.

Australia’s resounding election to the Human Rights Council for an inaugural three year term reflects our commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. We will work closely with other Council members, countries and civil society to advance human rights at home and around the globe.

It is in our national interest to shape the work of the Human Rights Council and uphold the international rules-based order.

Australia will be a principled, pragmatic and consultative Council member. We will bring a unique Indo-Pacific perspective to our term and amplify the voices of our Pacific neighbours in the Council.

During our term, we will take practical and sensible steps to advance five key areas: gender equality, freedom of expression, good governance and robust democratic institutions, human rights for indigenous peoples, and strong national human rights institutions.

Australia will also continue to advocate the abolition of the death penalty worldwide, freedom of religion and belief, the rights of persons with a disability and the rights of LGBTI communities.

As a Human Rights Council member, we will deliver on our commitment in the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper to promote a strong multilateral human rights system and to advance human rights, both here in Australia and around the world.

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