All 78 UN mandate holders, representing 41 thematic mandates and 14 country mandates, joined on Human Rights Day, 2015, to issue a joint statement promoting universal ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights during 2016, the fiftieth anniversary of their adoption in 1966.
They stated: “The Covenants have spurred considerable normative developments and institutional building at international level, which have been matched by developments at national and local levels. Around the world, courts and tribunals, national human rights institutions, civil society activism and increasing public awareness have all contributed to making human rights a major legitimacy test for public and private policies and practices. We call for their universal ratification.
Despite these positive developments, human rights remain under severe threat, including from conflict, poverty and inequality, the adverse impact of climate change, the backlash against women’s human rights, abuses by non-state actors and attacks against the universality of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Faced with these multiple challenges, determination to redress these violations as well as address their root causes should be even stronger. All must play their part in ensuring that each and every human right codified in these Covenants is guaranteed and implemented in practice for all human beings without discrimination. The interrelatedness and interdependence between all rights must be recognized; no human right can be fully enjoyed in isolation.”