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UN expert urges Somalia’s Government to finalise and implement human rights roadmap

GENEVA (26 December 2013) – The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari, today urged the Somali Federal Government to finalise and implement a human rights roadmap endorsed by the cabinet in August.

“The Human Rights Roadmap defines the Government’s responsibilities and sets goals to be achieved in a short period of time,” Mr. Bari said. “Finalising it would demonstrate a sincere commitment by Government to rebuild the foundation and structures of human rights in Somalia.”

Mr Bari's call comes after the Somali Parliament last week confirmed Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, who was nominated by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, as the new prime minister.

“I call on the new Head of Government and the international community to seize the opportunity to build a new Somalia where, among other things, the rule of law and the respect of human rights for all Somalis would be the norm,” the Independent Expert said.

The roadmap, an initiative proposed by Mr. Bari to the Somali authorities, is based on key human rights themes, each containing its own action plan to be implemented by key ministries, and sets out a post-transition strategy running until 2015.

“The Human Rights Roadmap offers a unique opportunity for the advancement of human rights in Somalia,” the Independent Expert said. “However, unless there is wide and active involvement by all concerned, it will be difficult to implement it.”

“I strongly advise the Federal Government to consult with regional administrations and civil society organisations throughout Somalia on finalising the roadmap,” he reiterated.

ENDS

Dr. Shamsul Bari (Bangladesh) was appointed Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia by the United Nations Human Rights Council in May 2008. He is independent from any government or organisation and serves in his individual capacity.

Check the Independent Expert’s reports on Somalia to the UN General Assembly and the UN Human rights Council: http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?m=48

OHCHR Country Page – Somalia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/SOIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Fiona Adolu (+41 22 928 9261 / fadolu@ohchr.org) or write to ie-somalia@ohchr.org

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