Ministry Statements & Speeches:
Aotearoa New Zealand welcomes OHCHR’s technical cooperation and capacity building programmes in Cambodia and the Philippines.
New Zealand shares concerns about the narrowing space for people to freely express their views in Cambodia, and of reports of arrests and harassment of opposition political figures, civil society organisations and media. We are concerned that recent developments, including the introduction of a ‘National Internet Gateway’, and some COVID-19 measures introduced by the Government, may disproportionately impact human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression and assembly. New Zealand considers civil and political rights are critical for a functioning democracy, and encourages Cambodia to continue to cooperate with OHCHR’s technical assistance programme, including in the context of COVID-19.
In the Philippines, New Zealand remains concerned about the methods used in countering national security threats and illegal drugs. Reports of extrajudicial killings and arbitrary detentions must be investigated and perpetrators held accountable. People exercising their rights to freedom of expression such as human rights defenders and journalists continue to be targets for vilification and violence. The launch of a three-year joint programme of technical assistance on human rights by the Government of the Philippines and the UN is a step in the right direction to promote and protect human rights in the Philippines. New Zealand acknowledges the important role of civil society in ensuring the success of that programme.