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Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Jordan, Malaysia and the Central African Republic

MIDDAY

20 March 2014

The Human Rights Council during its noon meeting adopted the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of Jordan, Malaysia and the Central African Republic.
The Vice-President of the Council said that Jordan had accepted 126 recommendations and noted the remaining 47; that Malaysia had received 232 recommendations, including 150 that received support while the rest had been noted; and that the Central African Republic had received 178 recommendations of which it had accepted 177 and noted one.

Rajab M. Sukayri, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that 173 recommendations had been made and 126 had been accepted. Jordan had recently approved the granting of nationality to the children of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians and agreed to grant them civil rights. On the consideration of gender among the criteria of discrimination, the Constitution considered people equally before the law. If gender was not mentioned this did not mean that there was discrimination. On broadening the definition of journalists, the relevant Committee had amended the law on the trade union of journalists. Participation had been broadened in accordance with very clear legislative bases, while taking into consideration the electronic media.

The Jordanian National Centre for Human Rights also spoke.

In the discussion on Jordan, speakers said that Jordan’s participation and acceptance of a large number of recommendations had shown its willingness to improve the protection of rights and the review process had led to great progress and the implementation of previous recommendations. Substantial progress in disseminating human rights throughout the country by major efforts in a variety of fields, including social justice, the rule of law and principles of good governance, were welcomed. One speaker noted that Jordan had missed an important opportunity to make concrete pledges to address human rights shortcomings and its reform agenda had so far fallen short. Political activists were silenced by penal code article 149, impunity continued for cases of torture and women continued to experience systematic discrimination in law.

Speaking in the discussion on Jordan were Sri Lanka, Palestine, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, China and Egypt.

Human Rights Watch, Amman Centre for Human Rights Studies, Amnesty International and Sudwind also spoke.

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Jordan.

Dato Mazlan Muhammad, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said Malaysia supported roughly 64 per cent of all recommendations proposed and had shown flexibility by supporting a number of recommendations on difficult issues. Malaysia had already taken steps to implement a number of recommendations, including on the establishment of a National Human Rights Action Plan. The Government acknowledged that more could be done to make human rights information in general, and the Universal Periodic Review process specifically, more widely available and was exploring ways to better disseminate information at the grass-roots level.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia also spoke.

In the discussion on Malaysia, speakers thanked Malaysia for its constructive participation during the review process and the acceptance of many recommendations. Satisfaction was expressed about Malaysia’s commitment to human rights, especially overcoming social inequality through the Government’s transformation programme. Progress made in the areas of education, health, combating poverty and to improvement in living standards, as well as women’s rights, the rights of the child, of persons with disabilities and of indigenous peoples was also highlighted. However, disappointment was expressed about the rejection of recommendations on equality and marriage, marital rape, the prohibition of corporal punishment, and the death penalty.

Speaking in the discussion on Malaysia were Senegal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Algeria, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China and Cuba.

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, World Organization against Torture, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Dignity International, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Human Rights Watch, Action Canada for Population and Development, Amnesty International and British Humanist Association also took the floor.

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Malaysia.

Leopold Ismael Samba, Permanent Representative of the Central African Republic to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said the Central African Republic was going through one of the most trying periods in its history and was on the edge of chaos imposed by armed movements. The Permanent Representative appreciated that the international community was standing by the Central African Republic at this time, in particular the Human Rights Council. The Central African Republic was well aware that human rights were the main factors of peace, tranquility and dignity, and the cornerstone of the international system. The Government had established all necessary structures to promote and protect human rights.

In the discussion on the Central African Republic, speakers deplored and condemned the human rights violations that were occurring in the Central African Republic, particularly those committed against women and children. In this transitional period, the difficulties in implementing human rights obligations were understood. It was imperative to promote dialogue and find lasting solutions to this alarming situation. The international community was looked to, to provide the Central African Republic with capacity building assistance. Speakers echoed the Central African Republic’s appeal urging the international community to help the country in implementing accepted recommendations.

Speaking in the discussion on the Central African Republic were Venezuela, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, United States, Mauritania, Angola and Benin.

Amnesty International, Jubilee Campaign and Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme also spoke.

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of the Central African Republic.

The Human Rights Council during its afternoon meeting will consider the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Belize, Chad and China.

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Jordan

The Council has before it the report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review on Jordan (A/HRC/25/9)

RAJAB M. SUKAYRI, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations Office at Geneva, voiced Jordan’s full commitment to work with all parties to make the Universal Periodic Review mechanism successful. One hundred and seventy three recommendations had been made and 126 had been accepted. The Government had recently approved the granting of Jordanian nationality to the children of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians and agreed to grant them civil rights and the right to medical treatment in the various hospitals. Jordan had been amongst the first that had called for the necessity of cooperation between all Member States according to the Rome Statute, to face all challenges in the implementation of penal justice. It believed in the noble objectives for which the International Criminal Court was established and had no objection to privileges and immunities, but that required political and security stability in the Middle East which currently was absent. On recommendation 119 on the consideration of gender among the criteria of discrimination, the Constitution considered people equally before the law. If gender was not mentioned this did not mean that there was discrimination.

On divorce and the law of personal status, while it had given the male spouse the right to divorce, it also had controls which protected the rights of women which included a woman’s request for divorce. In 2011 there was a clear text that criminalized all acts of torture. When there was proof that any public security personnel had engaged in acts of torture or violations of human rights, the person or persons were referred to the Police Court, an independent court with the criteria and safeguards for a fair trial. The relevant authorities trained the judicial officers in order to investigate any cases of torture and to prosecute those responsible. A manual was issued for general prosecutors, and workshops were held for judges and general prosecutors. A regional conference to combat terrorism was held in Jordan in June 2012. Many amendments made to the penal code aimed at improving respect for human rights, including the elimination of the death penalty for certain crimes and the addition of an article that sanctioned torture. On the press and publications law recommendation, the amendment to the law was done in accordance with the Constitution. The law was promulgated to organize websites and improve transparency and responsibility in circulating information. On broadening the definition of journalists, the relevant Committee had amended the law on the trade union of journalists. Participation had been broadened in accordance with very clear legislative bases, while taking into consideration the electronic media. Jordan had always provided all basic needs to refugees and a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. A special office had been established in the Ministry of the Interior to deal with matters related to refugees.

MUSA BURAYZAT, National Centre for Human Rights of Jordan, speaking in a video message, said despite the presence of political will to advance human rights in Jordan, there were still gaps and disparities in legislation, policies and practice. The most salient legislative gaps regarded guarantees for the rights of detainees during preliminary investigations, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law. Laws that needed amendments included the anti-terrorism law which infringed on some fundamental freedoms and rights, as well as laws on elections, labour, and political parties. Mr. Burayzat said although tangible positive developments had been noticed, the National Centre still received complaints and allegations of long periods of judicial and administrative detention, of inhumane treatment and, in a few cases, torture. More effort was needed to combat domestic violence, as well as other forms of discrimination against women in the work place. Initiatives to empower women to hold advanced decision-making positions were still modest. The Jordanian authorities were well commended for their respect of the National Centre’s independence and role, as well as their positive attitude to its recommendations and reports.

Sri Lanka appreciated the constructive engagement of Jordan during the second cycle of the review and noted its acceptance of Sri Lanka’s recommendations, as well as efforts to improve living conditions. Sri Lanka wished Jordan success in the implementation of the recommendations.

Palestine thanked Jordan for the clarification provided today concerning its report. Palestine commended the cooperation displayed by the delegation during the review process and welcomed the acceptance of a great number of recommendations, including Palestine’s recommendation concerning legislation on domestic workers.

Sudan said that Jordan’s participation and acceptance of a large number of recommendations had shown its will to improve the protection of rights and the review process had led to great progress and the implementation of previous recommendations. Sudan hoped that this cycle would prove to be an opportunity to achieve further progress and called for the Council to continue to provide support.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) welcomed the improvements to advance children’s rights in Jordan, in particular in the areas of juvenile law. UNICEF looked forward to the review of the childhood law, the penal code and the domestic violence law to bring them in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and called on Jordan to ratify the Convention’s third Optional Protocol.

United Arab Emirates welcomed Jordan’s substantial progress in disseminating human rights throughout the country by major efforts in a variety of fields, including social justice, the rule of law and principles of good governance. Jordan’s efforts to consolidate human rights in the long term were also saluted.

Venezuela encouraged the Government of Jordan to continue expanding its noteworthy progress, especially for the rights of persons with disabilities. Jordan was exhorted to continue promoting its social programmes.

Yemen commended Jordan for the many recommendations it had accepted which testified to its firm resolve to promote human rights across the board, and paid tribute to its considerable progress.

Algeria noted Jordan’s achievements despite several challenges and problems, and praised the large amount of recommendations it had accepted, including two by Algeria concerning legal texts on the rights of women, children and the family, and on the amendment of its legislation on domestic violence.

Bahrain underlined the importance attached by Jordan to the review mechanism and the transparency that had characterised Jordan’s engagement during the review process. All of this reflected Jordan’s efforts to improve the livelihoods of Jordanians and to protect the rights of vulnerable segments of society.

Chad thanked Jordan for providing its views on the various recommendations formulated during the review process. While noting that Jordan did not accept its recommendation concerning the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, Chad recommended that the Council adopt the report.

China commended Jordan’s constructive participation in the review process and thanked the delegation for its comprehensive response and the decision to accept most of the recommendations. Jordan had made efforts to protect women and children by implementing a national human rights strategy, and hosting a large number of refugees.

Egypt appreciated the positive approach of the Kingdom with human rights mechanisms, as reflected in the acceptance of most of the recommendations. Egypt recognised measures addressing the legislative framework and national policies to protect human rights, despite challenges, including those posed by Syrian refugees, and Jordan’s effort to protect the rights of women and children.

Human Rights Watch said Jordan had missed an important opportunity to make concrete pledges to address human rights shortcomings and its reform agenda had so far fallen short. Political activists were silenced by penal code article 149, impunity continued for cases of torture and women continued to experience systematic discrimination in law.

Ammam Centre for Human Rights Studies raised various issues including administrative and illegal detention, impunity for torture, and restrictions placed on electronic information, including that the internet and social media were under the permanent control of State security.

Amnesty International welcomed Jordan’s commitment to amend legislation ending impunity for torture and abolishing the trial of civilians by the State Security Court, but expressed disappointment that all recommendations to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture were rejected. Jordan’s great effort in accommodating more than half a million refugees from Syria had clearly put enormous strains on the country but Amnesty hoped it would continue to guarantee refugees the right of non-refoulement.

Sudwind said that the abolition of the death penalty for crimes related to drugs, weapons and explosives, and the fact that there had been no execution since 2006, was a huge leap forward. Jordan was urged to abolish the death penalty from its laws. Discrimination against women was raised, and Sudwind said the number of women in decision-making positions was considerably low, especially in the judiciary and politics.

RAJAB M. SUKAYRI, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations Office at Geneva, in concluding remarks, thanked delegations for their participation during the review, as well as to non-governmental organizations for their comments and contributions. Mr. Sukayri also thanked the troika and the Secretariat, and all of those who had contributed to the review, and hoped that the report would be adopted.

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Malaysia

The Council has before it the report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review on Malaysia (A/HRC/25/10)

DATO MAZLAN MUHAMMAD, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said Malaysia supported roughly 64 per cent, or two-thirds, of all recommendations proposed and had shown flexibility by supporting a number of recommendations on difficult issues, which showed its commitment to improving human rights on the ground. The recommendations that did not enjoy Malaysia’s support this time may be reconsidered in the future. Malaysia had already taken steps to implement a number of recommendations, including on the establishment of a National Human Rights Action Plan. Mr. Muhammad said that on 4 December 2013 the Minister of Legal Affairs convened the first meeting of the National Steering Committee which was comprised of senior Government officials and representatives of academia and civil society, and was mandated to establish five technical sub-committees that would implement the action plan in five key areas.

The Government acknowledged that more could be done to make human rights information in general, and the Universal Periodic Review process specifically, more widely available and was exploring ways to better disseminate information at the grass-roots level. To improve the overall living conditions of people, in 2012 the Government for the first time implemented a direct cash transfer programme known as ‘BR1M’, in which payments were paid to the most vulnerable households and individuals, those earning three to four thousand Malaysian Ringgit per month. BR1M was considered to be a comprehensive social security safety net and on 22 February 2014 the Government rolled out the third round of BR1M payments to some seven million people. The Permanent Representative said he looked forward to hearing the views of stakeholders and partners on Malaysia’s second round of the Universal Periodic Review.

HASMY AGAM, National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, hoped that the Government would diligently implement recommendations and urged it to give priority to accession to the core international human rights treaties. The Commission welcomed the establishment of a task force to look at the implementation of recommendation concerning the land rights of indigenous peoples, and expressed concerns about the enactment of security legislation. The Commission also welcomed the increased attention paid by non-governmental organizations to the review process, highlighting its importance for the promotion and human rights. Finally, the Commission also expressed concerns about reprisals taken against human rights activists cooperating with the Council.

Senegal thanked Malaysia for the additional information provided in the addendum to its report and welcomed the renewed commitment to ensure the full realisation of rights. Senegal believed that the protection of the rights of vulnerable people should be given priority in the implementation of recommendations.

Singapore thanked Malaysia for its constructive participation during the review process, including its acceptance of the recommendations made by Singapore. Recommending the adoption of the report, Singapore expressed the intention to continue to cooperate with Malaysia for the promotion of rights in the region, including as part of ASEAN initiatives.

Sri Lanka appreciated the comprehensive responses provided by Malaysia during the review and the acceptance of many of the recommendations. Sri Lanka noted that Malaysia had successfully harnessed its diversity for development, as enshrined in the One Malaysia concept, and recommended the adoption of the report.

Sudan thanked and commended Malaysia for its commitment, open approach and positive response to the Universal Periodic Review process and said Malaysia had made great efforts in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Thailand noted with appreciation Malaysia’s acceptance of Thailand’s recommendation on providing universal access to affordable healthcare services for poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups. It also welcomed Malaysia’s assertion that it may reconsider the recommendations it was unable to accept this time, in the future.

Uzbekistan welcomed that Malaysia had accepted so many recommendations, including its own. Those recommendations would strengthen and boost the human rights situation in Malaysia.

Venezuela welcomed with satisfaction the light shown on Malaysia’s commitment to human rights, especially overcoming social inequality through the Government’s transformation programme. Malaysia was commended for its resolve in implementing recommendations from its first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review.

Viet Nam welcomed Malaysia’s efforts to promote diversity and the protection of rights, as well as its constructive engagement during the review cycle and its efforts in accepting and implementing recommendations, including those submitted by Viet Nam.

Yemen welcomed Malaysia’s achievements in the field of human rights and commended the Government for accepting a large number of recommendations, which attested to its commitment to the promotion of all rights.

Algeria congratulated Malaysia for accepting most of the recommendations, in particular the two recommendations presented by Algeria concerning the ratification of human rights treaties and the combat of trafficking in persons.

Botswana commended Malaysia for accepting many recommendations. Botswana noted the introduction of the Government Transformation Programme, aimed at supporting efforts to promote and protect human rights, which demonstrated Malaysia’s commitment to improving the situation of its people.

Brunei thanked Malaysia for its firm commitment to the Universal Periodic Review process and commended it in particular for its initiatives in enhancing the well-being of women, empowering women in the labour force and ensuring the access of citizens to healthcare.

Cambodia said as a fellow ASEAN member Malaysia was commended for its commitment to human rights and was pleased to note its two recommendations had been fully accepted.

China thanked Malaysia for accepting its recommendations on pursuing regional and international cooperation and stepping up the fight against trafficking, as well as enhancing mutual respect among its different ethnic groups while maintaining its diversity.

Cuba congratulated Malaysia on the tangible results it had achieved in the implementation of the recommendations from its first Universal Periodic Review cycle. Cuba highlighted progress made in the areas of education, health, combating poverty, and improving living standards, as well as the rights of women, children, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples.

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development was disappointed that Malaysia had rejected recommendations concerning equality, marriage, and marital rape. Even if Malaysia had stated that child marriage had never been a trend, the legal age to marry for Muslim girls was 16.

World Organization against Torture regretted the rejection by Malaysia of the recommendations concerning the prohibition of corporal punishment and the death penalty and that it had refused to ratify some core human rights instruments. Malaysia should immediately establish a commission to investigate police conduct and abuse, and should take immediate steps to abolish the death penalty.

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative said that COMANGO, a coalition of over 50 civil society organizations in Malaysia, had been declared illegal for their cooperation with the Universal Periodic Review process, even if this decision had been later reversed. Malaysia was in urgent need of an independent police oversight mechanism, which should be promptly established in accordance with the police reform plans.

Dignity International was disappointed that Malaysia had rejected recommendations that would ensure that its law and policies were in line with the Convention on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Dignity International condemned acts of reprisals against members of COMANGO by the Government and non-State actors who acted with tacit Government support.

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, speaking in a joint statement, regretted that Malaysia had not accepted recommendations on upholding and promoting freedom of religion, as demonstrated by its ban on non-Muslims using the word ‘Allah’. The Forum also regretted the lack of judicial reform, the use of detention without trial and certain repressive laws.

Human Rights Watch regretted restrictions on peaceful and public assembly, as well as a law restricting the printing of publications. Malaysia should engage with the media and civil society to revise that law. The recent conviction of an opposition leader and human rights lawyer for sedition was emblemised of political repression.

Action Canada for Population and Development spoke about Malaysia’s rejection of recommendations to decriminalize same-sex relations, which rejected the right of people with diverse sexuality to live free from stigma, discrimination and violence. Further, the decriminalization of marital rape in law was a gross violation of women’s rights.

Amnesty International voiced concern about attempts to silence critical voices in civil society, and about human rights violations by the police, including torture, death in custody and excessive use of force, which took place with impunity. It expressed deep concern about the use of the death penalty as executions had been carried out in secret and without prior warning.

British Humanist Association noted restrictive legislation in Malaysia concerning the right to religion or belief and the right to freedom of expression. For example, the registration of religion on identity cards was obligatory and only major religions were recognised. The legislation remained the biggest obstacle to the freedom of thought and the Government should implement the Rabat Plan of Action to ensure that those rights were equally enjoyed by all Malaysians.

DATO MAZLAN MUHAMMAD, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations Office at Geneva, expressed appreciation to delegations and stakeholders that offered observations and recommendations. All statements made today had been listened to carefully. The active participation and contribution of all partners and stakeholders was appreciated. All comments made and issues raised today would be studied and considered by the Government in the implementation of accepted recommendations. There remained challenges in the promotion and protection of human rights in the country and the Government would continue to take action on improvements in key areas. Certain issues raised by civil society representatives had been addressed in the detailed information contained in the report. In introducing the amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act and the Peaceful Assembly Act, safeguards in accordance with international law had been included. The Government of Malaysia reaffirmed its commitment to cooperate with the United Nations human rights mechanisms, in particular the Special Procedures, and invitations to the Special Rapporteur on the trafficking of persons and the Special Rapporteur on the right to health had been extended. The entire Universal Periodic Review process had been very beneficial to Malaysia and allowed for the evaluation of achievements and challenges. Malaysia remained steadfast in its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Malaysia.

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of the Central African Republic

The Council has before it the report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review on the Central African Republic (A/HRC/25/11)

LÉOPOLD ISMAEL SAMBA, Permanent Representative of the Central African Republic to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said the Central African Republic was going through one of the most trying periods in its history, it was on the edge of chaos imposed by armed movements. The Permanent Representative appreciated that the international community was standing by the Central African Republic at this time, in particular the Human Rights Council. The Central African Republic was well aware that human rights were the main factors of peace, tranquillity and dignity, and the cornerstone of the international system. The Government had established all the necessary structures to promote and protect human rights. New penal and criminal procedural codes had been adopted, and conventions on women, including gender-based violence, on indigenous peoples and on inhumane treatment had been ratified. The road-map of the transitional Government prioritized the protection of the vulnerable civilian population against all forms of violence, including gender-based violence, rapid humanitarian assistance, including to all displaced populations and refugees, good governance and rule of law, and intensification of the fight against impunity.

The Central African Republic had accepted almost all of the recommendations made at its second Universal Periodic Review except for those concerning the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and on issuing a standing invitation to Special Procedure mandate holders to travel to the Central African Republic to see the situation on the ground. Those recommendations were on the whole accepted, and since the beginning of the crisis the Central African Republic had hosted various United Nations missions, including one from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and one from the Security Council.

Venezuela deplored and condemned the human rights violations that were occurring in the Central African Republic, particularly those committed against women and children. Venezuela urged all parties to engage in a genuine dialogue and cooperation, which were channels towards durable peace in this situation of suffering.

Morocco commended the participation of the Central African Republic in the Universal Periodic Review despite the difficult security situation in the country and said that the international community should help the Government to meet the challenges it was facing. Morocco urged the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic to urgently identify priorities for action.

Mozambique noted the signs of improvement in the Central African Republic and said that the transitional authorities should be commended for the progress made to improve the situation of human rights. The Human Rights Council should adopt the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review on this country.

Namibia expressed grave concern about the humanitarian and human rights situation in the Central African Republic and said it was imperative to promote dialogue and find a lasting solution to this alarming situation. The current level of humanitarian support was inadequate to meet all the needs, and the international community should assist the Government in meeting its international obligations and restoring normalcy in the country.

Rwanda appreciated that the Government of the Central African Republic had fully cooperated with the Universal Periodic Review Working Group and noted that the majority of the recommendations made had been accepted. In this transitional period, the difficulties in implementing human rights obligations were understood. Rwanda stood ready to explore all means of cooperation and to exchange good practice with the Central African Republic.

Senegal welcomed the constructive dialogue and full cooperation shown by the Central African Republic. The renewed commitment to work further to promote, protect and fully ensure human rights was welcomed. Senegal echoed the appeal urging the international community to help the country in implementing the recommendations that were accepted.

South Sudan said it knew the challenges faced by the Central African Republic. All Central African parties were urged to look for stability, peace and security throughout the country. South Sudan looked to the international community to provide the Central African Republic with capacity-building assistance, and recommended the adoption of the outcome report.

Sudan appreciated the steps taken by the Government to promote and protect the human rights of its citizens by taking positive steps to restore peace and security. It was crucial to acknowledge the immense challenges of the current situation that the country was going through, which required the support of the international community.

United States welcomed the interim Government’s decisions to combat impunity for human rights violations, end the recruitment and use of child soldiers, assist the free circulation of humanitarian workers, and conduct free and fair presidential elections without delay. The United States was deeply concerned about those issues and urged the Central African Republic to work with the international community to implement its recommendations without delay.

Mauritania regretted that grave violations were taking place in the Central African Republic and said the Universal Periodic Review process was a great opportunity to evaluate the measures taken by the Government. Mauritania encouraged the Central African Republic to continue protecting human rights.

Angola commended the delegation of the Central African Republic on the high calibre of its Universal Periodic Review presentation despite the difficulties in the country. The Central African Republic’s work to improve the promotion of women’s rights, including new legislation and women’s involvement in conflict resolution, was well commended.

Benin encouraged the authorities of the Central African Republic to be steadfast in their aims to promote human rights, particularly in upholding public order and bringing about peace. The international community must support the Central African Republic in re-establishing stability.

Amnesty International said that serious human rights violations, including war crimes and crime against humanity, continued in the Central African Republic, and extra-judicial killings, torture and ethnic cleansing were still happening. Despite the new Government, a greater humanitarian and protection crisis loomed if nothing was done to end the crisis.

Jubilee Campaign said that the humanitarian and human rights situation had worsened since December 2013, with incidents of sectarian violence. The anti-Balaka militias were committing horrendous crimes, wiping out whole communities. The Government must be assisted in its efforts to restore the rule of law and civil administration and all perpetrators of crimes must be brought to justice.

Rencontre Africaine pour la défense des droits de l’homme was concerned about the implementation of recommendations related to the improvement of the security situation by the transitional Government. There was a real risk of the insecurity spreading in the region and a global dialogue that included all parties should be organized as soon as possible with a view of re-establishing stability and security.

LÉOPOLD ISMAEL SAMBA, Permanent Representative of the Central African Republic to the United Nations Office at Geneva, in concluding remarks, said he thought of the Universal Periodic Review as a barometer which allowed States to respect the universal code of conduct in terms of what human rights meant and how to defend them. The Central African Republic was going through an exceptional crisis. It was at the bottom of an abyss and was trying to find its way out, but could only do so with international assistance. There were two major challenges – the security situation and the humanitarian situation. Neither could exist nor be dealt with without the other. That was why the Central African Republic repeated its request to the international community not to abandon it. In the last few days it was clear that what was happening in other parts of the world had taken centre stage, Mr. Samba said, but regardless of what happened elsewhere, the alarming situation in the Central African Republic should not be forgotten. He expressed deep appreciation to the Council, the Office of the High Commissioner and States for their support so far.
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