Joint media release

  • The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister
  • The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Foreign Minister

21 February 2018

We are pleased to announce that the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Ret’d) will travel to Switzerland from 25 to 28 February to represent Australia at the High-Level Segment of the 37th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Governor-General will deliver Australia’s National Statement to the High-Level Segment during our first session as a new Human Rights Council member. The High-Level Segment is the most prominent event on the Council’s annual calendar.

Australia took its seat on the Council, which is the world’s peak body responsible for promoting and protecting human rights, on 1 January 2018.

Through our membership Australia will deliver on its commitments to advance human rights globally. Our priorities will include empowering women and girls to reach their full potential; freedom of expression; and promoting good governance and democratic institutions.

The Governor-General will also meet United Nations Secretary-General His Excellency Mr António Guterres and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

As part of a wider bilateral visit, Sir Peter will meet with the President of the Swiss Confederation HE Dr Alain Berset. The Governor-General will also attend a commemorative service at the Commonwealth War Graves in Vevey, visit the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva and meet with Australian business representatives in Zurich.