‘In my six years as UN Special Rapporteur I observed how human rights can strengthen policy at the national and international levels, and improve the way UN agencies and national actors work. Since I began my work as Executive Chair of the Sanitation and Water for all Global Partnership, I have come to see, even more clearly the importance of ensuring that human rights are mainstreamed across all three pillars of the UN. This is what António Guterres, in his Vision Statement presented to States last April, called ‘connecting the dots.’
When he takes up his important responsibilities, I hope the new Secretary-General will invest in making sure those dots become increasingly well connected, that human rights are given sufficient prominence and resources, that the Human Rights Up Front initiative is further developed, and that human rights are truly mainstreamed throughout the system. I hope he will work with all parts of that system to take us out of our comfort zones, abolishing the culture of silos that still exists across the Organisation, and confronting the political aversion to human rights that still exists in some parts of the international system.
I look forward to working with the new Secretary-General to make sure - to borrow his words - that human rights move to an era of ‘implementation, implementation, implementation.’ I would also add that that implementation should be combined with ‘accountability, accountability, accountability’ for any wrongdoing. As Mr. Guterres has so eloquently put it, ‘we must make sure that when someone sees the Blue Flag she or he can say: ‘I am protected.’