This statement was broadcasted at the 50th Session of the Human Rights Council Panel discussion on good governance in the promotion and protection of human rights during and after the COVID-19 pandemic on 22nd June, 2022. Watch the video statement here.
Respected chair and delegates,
I am Sai Racherla from the Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW). ARROW welcomes the panel discussion on good governance in the promotion of human rights during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Asia and the Pacific region is not on track to achieve the 2030 targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. Progress in the region has slowed down, especially in the context of Covid-19 and the 2030 targets are further out of reach. The latest data indicates that vulnerability has increased, and huge gaps persist across different population groups.
Disruption of critical interventions and services in already overstretched health and education systems due to COVID-19, have caused serious gaps in SRHR information and services access. Estimates project in some Asia-Pacific countries, the maternal mortality ratio could reach 263/100,000 live births for the worst-case scenarios compared to a projected baseline of 184 in 2020.
We call upon governments
- To fulfil full respect of the Universal Declaration of Human rights including the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action, the Beijing Platform for Action, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development commitments, embedding key attributes of good governance at all levels.
- Develop and implement progressive national legislations around gender equality and SRHR, and promote access to human rights information, meaningful participation of communities, administration of justice, transparency, accountability and good governance at all levels.
- Enable access to public health and education services that are professional, accountable and transparent upholding the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity towards women girls, LGBTQI and marginalised groups.
- In the context of Covid-19, optimally utilise information and communications technology, foster greater participation, and at the same time address the many forms of the digital divide between and within countries and between individuals, and take steps to expand Internet access to provide public health and education services accessible to all with focus on most at risk of social exclusion.
- Encourage States to address any weaknesses in the way public services are being delivered, including in the areas of health, education, justice and increase accessibility to them, including through new communications technology, mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the enjoyment of all human rights;
- Finally, ensure states to consider developing and implementing appropriate data tools and mechanisms to review, measure and assess progress in good governance for gender equality and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.