dcsimg


Header image for news printout

Council adopts outcomes of Universal Periodic Review of Vanuatu, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Comoros and Slovakia

MORNING

20 June 2014

The Human Rights Council this morning adopted the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of Vanuatu, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Comoros, and Slovakia.

Jenny Tevi, Senior Desk Officer, Treaties and Conventions Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade of Vanuatu, said that 95 out of 109 recommendations had been accepted, among others, concerning national human rights mechanisms, gender equality, strengthening the judicial system, children and persons with disabilities, the right to information, water and sanitation, health, education, and the death penalty. Vanuatu had not been able to support 14 recommendations. While supporting the spirit of recommendations regarding the ratification of additional instruments, Vanuatu was not ready to commit fully as the lack of resources and capacity continued to pose challenges to reporting obligations arising from ratified instruments.

In the discussion, delegations welcomed Vanuatu’s constructive participation in the Universal Periodic Review and its efforts towards the promotion and protection of human rights and to overcome challenges faced. Speakers expressed appreciation for Vanuatu’s acceptance of many of the recommendations, as well as its commitment to address fundamental issues, such as women’s rights. They called on Vanuatu to continue to implement measures to eliminate discrimination, strengthen the protection of the rights of vulnerable groups such as women, children and the disabled, and to continue its consultative process with civil society in the implementation of all recommendations.

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

Speaking in the discussion were United Nations Children’s Fund, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Algeria, China, Cuba, and New Zealand.

United Nations Watch and Franciscans International also spoke.

Igor Djundev, Director for Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, indicated that consultations had been held on all 104 recommendations received during the second review cycle. Many of them corresponded with the national priorities and undertakings, so most of the accepted recommendations were being implemented, some had already been implemented, and only a few were yet to be implemented. Regarding international instruments, the ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was in the pipeline, but more time was required and thorough analysis and the need for harmonization of national legislation with the provisions of the Convention.

During the discussion, speakers welcomed the adoption of institutional, legislative and normative measures to promote human rights, in particular the establishment of a commission for the protection against discrimination, the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and its cooperation with Special Procedures. Delegations also noted measures taken by the Government to combat discrimination and urged the Council to adopt the outcome. They commended the Government for accepting most of the recommendations, including those regarding the strengthening of the national human rights institution and the consolidation of an independent judiciary.

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Speaking in the discussion were Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Romania, United Nations Children’s Fund, and Viet Nam.

European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Federation, United Nations Watch, and International Planned Parenthood Federation also spoke.

Presenting the report of the Comoros, Abdou Ousseni, Minister of Justice for Human Rights, indicated that the Comoros had accepted, among others, recommendations dealing with the ratification of international human rights instruments; revision of the legal system to ensure equal treatment of women; prohibition of corporal punishment, the criminalization of violence against children, and a minimum age of marriage; birth registration; trafficking in persons; and the institutional framework for child protection. A recommendation concerning measures to ensure freedom of religion and stop reprisals on Muslims converting to other religions had been rejected. The Comoros had accepted a total of 123 recommendations and would do its utmost to implement them, hoping that international assistance would contribute to preserve progress made in ensuring respect for human rights.

Speakers expressed appreciation for the Comoros’ constructive commitment during the review process and efforts to promote and protect human rights despite challenges and difficulties faced. The acceptance of a large number of recommendations regarding improving access to justice for women in rural areas and improving equality, policy reduction, health and education services, including for children, was evidence of its commitment and determination to advance in the protection of rights, child protection, and the abolition of the death penalty. As a developing country, the Comoros faced many political and economic challenges and delegations encouraged the international community, including the Council and the Office of the High Commissioner, to provide assistance and support.

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of the Comoros

The following delegations participated in the discussion: Yemen, Algeria, Botswana, China, Cuba, Mali, Morocco, Qatar, Senegal, Togo, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Angola

Rencontre Africain pour la defense des droits de l’homme also took the floor.

Fedor Rosocah, Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that 133 out of 146 recommendations had been accepted and some were already being implemented. Slovakia did not accept seven and partially accepted six, which were supported in principle but Slovakia was not in a position to fully address them. While Slovakia was not in a position to ratify the Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers and two International Labour Organization Conventions, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was being examined by Parliament. Improving the situation of the Roma community was a long-term priority and the Government would continue existing programmes and strategies with a view to achieving tangible progress in the integration of the Roma.

During the discussion, delegations commended Slovakia for the acceptance of a number of recommendations, including those concerning its national human rights institution, the prevention of torture, the independence of the judiciary, human trafficking, the right to employment, and the combat against racism, xenophobia and racial discrimination. Speakers also welcomed the institutional and administrative will to guarantee the rule of law and the implementation of reforms stemming from the first review cycle.

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Slovakia

Speaking during the discussion were Algeria, Belarus, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Morocco, Romania, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.

The Centre for Reproductive Rights also took the floor.

The Human Rights Council is holding a full day of meetings today. During its midday meeting, the Council will consider the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Eritrea, Cyprus, Dominican Republic and Viet Nam. At 5 p.m., the Council will resume its general debate on human rights situations that require the Council's attention.

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Vanuatu

JENNY TEVI, Senior Desk Officer, Treaties and Conventions Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade of Vanuatu, in the context of the International Year of Small Island Developing States, wished to highlight the importance of the participation in international fora, including in the work of the Geneva-based human rights mechanisms. Vanuatu was thankful for the support received from the Universal Periodic Review Trust Fund to accommodate its participation in both the review and this adoption process. Vanuatu had accepted 95 out of 109 recommendations, but had not been able to support 14. Those accepted included ratification and implementation of international human rights treaties, national human rights mechanisms, human rights prevention programmes, gender equality, strengthening the judicial system and law reform, children, the right to information, water and sanitation, health, education, persons with disabilities and the death penalty. On the recommendation on acceding to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Vanuatu was not able to sign at this time as it felt that the crime of genocide and aggression was not a serious threat in the context of Vanuatu.

Regarding recommendations on the Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure and the Convention against Torture, Vanuatu supported the spirit of these recommendations but was still not ready to commit itself fully to these human rights optional protocols as a lack of resources and capacity continued to be a problem to fully comply with its reporting obligations of existing human rights conventions already ratified. Regarding recommendations on compulsory education policy and legal measures, their spirit was fully supported. However, the term compulsory was not in the current education act. As part of its commitment to the promotion of human rights, Vanuatu’s Prime Minister had signed an order for the establishment of the National Human Rights Committee on 6 June. Vanuatu noted that the Council was giving due consideration to the issue of the contribution of parliaments to the work of the Human Rights Council and the Universal Periodic Review. Members of Parliament were key decision makers in any countries and it was therefore of importance that they were informed and engaged in the Universal Periodic Review process. Vanuatu was glad to report that in response to the recommendation received to that effect, it had started to promote this process in the country.

United Nations Children’s Fund welcomed the positive steps taken by Vanuatu toward meeting its human rights obligations, in particular those related to the rights of children. An area of concern remained the development of a comprehensive children’s law and the Fund encouraged the Government to continue with the process of incorporating the Convention on the Rights of the Child into national legislation, either through a stand-alone comprehensive law or systematic incorporation into national legislation.

Venezuela welcomed the submission of the report of Vanuatu and efforts in areas such as the steps taken by the women affairs department toward gender equality and the formulation of a participation plan for 2011-15. Venezuela acknowledged the efforts made by Vanuatu to fulfil its international commitments despite challenges and limitations faced, in particularly those stemming from climate change.

Viet Nam said that it was encouraging to see that despite difficulties and limited resources, Vanuatu had demonstrated a commitment to the review process and had accepted a large number of recommendations, including those submitted by Viet Nam, and its response to climate change was commendable. Therefore Viet Nam urged the Council to adopt the outcome and wished Vanuatu success.

Algeria thanked Vanuatu for the additional information provided and welcomed its acceptance of 95 of the recommendations, including Algeria’s recommendation to continue efforts to eliminate discriminatory practices against women and concerning persons with disabilities and working conditions.

China noted that Vanuatu had overcome difficulties and constructively participated in the Universal Periodic Review. Its acceptance of many of the recommendations was appreciated, including recommendations made by China. China hoped Vanuatu would continue its legislation and action to eliminate discrimination and strengthen the protection of the rights of vulnerable groups such as women, children and the disabled.

Cuba welcomed the progress achieved by Vanuatu in promoting and protecting human rights. It was laudable to see the importance that Vanuatu afforded to the Universal Periodic Review, reflected in the efforts made to implement recommendations during the first review. Cuba welcomed Vanuatu’s acceptance of a recommendation it had made, and welcomed the adoption of the outcome report.

New Zealand welcomed Vanuatu’s commitment to address fundamental issues, such as women’s rights. Since its review in January, elements of progress could already be seen, notably the recent decision to establish a national human rights committee. The Government was encouraged to continue its consultative process with civil society in the implementation of all recommendations.

United Nations Watch welcomed Vanuatu’s commitment to make improvements on violence against women. It seemed that Vanuatu was indeed taking the necessary measures to strengthen its institutional system, including its judicial system, and to put an end to gender-based violence. If these were to become effective, then it could really be said that Vanuatu had truly become a heaven on Earth.

Franciscans International, in a joint statement, welcomed the commitment of Vanuatu to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to set up the Ministry of Climate Change. The Human Rights Council should establish a United Nations Special Procedure on climate change and human rights, to take into consideration the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, among others.

The Vice-President of the Council said of 109 recommendations received, Vanuatu accepted 95 and noted 14.

JENNY TEVI, Senior Desk Officer, Treaties and Conventions Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade of Vanuatu, in her concluding remarks, said that protecting and promoting human rights for citizens would be a challenge while Vanuatu worked on the establishment of democracy and combating violence against women. With the commitment to continue to promote and uphold human rights in the country, Vanuatu would take into account the comments received. Members of Parliaments were key actors in every country and that was why they must be involved in the Universal Periodic Review process; this was already ongoing in Vanuatu.

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

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

IGOR DJUNDEV, Director for Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, reaffirmed the strong commitment of the Government to the Universal Periodic Review. There had been a number of consultations with Government institutions on all 104 recommendations received during the second Universal Periodic Review. It was important to note that many recommendations corresponded with the established national priorities and undertakings, so most of the accepted recommendations were being implemented, some had already been implemented, and only a few were yet to be implemented. Regarding recommendations on international instruments, the ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was in the pipeline, but more time was required for the thorough analysis and the need for harmonization of national legislation with the provisions of the Convention. Regarding the ratification of the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute, the necessary harmonization of the Criminal Code had already been made and the Law on the Ratification was expected to be adopted by the Assembly by the end of the year.

All the recommendations concerning Roma rights were accepted and many were already being implemented in accordance with the Strategy for Roma and the 2005-2015 Decade for Roma Inclusion. Regarding hate speech, the Government had on several occasions publicly condemned all kinds of hate speech, regardless of the individuals who expressed it or the targeted individuals and groups, and underlined the consequences of such acts prescribed by the relevant laws. All of the recommendations concerning gender equality enjoyed the support of the Government and most of them were already being implemented through various activities based on the Law for Equal Opportunities and the Law for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination, among others. The Government was strongly committed to the full realization of the reform of the penitentiary system and the justice system. The advancement of freedom of the media and freedom of expression was of the utmost importance for the Government and all recommendations in this sphere had been accepted.

Algeria welcomed that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had adopted a number of institutional, legislative and normative measures to promote human rights, in particular the establishment of a commission for protection against discrimination, the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and its cooperation with Special Procedures.

Côte d’Ivoire noted with satisfaction the commitment of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as illustrated by the acceptance of recommendations during the second review cycle. Côte d’Ivoire also noted measures taken by the Government in order to combat discrimination and urged the Council to adopt the report.

Morocco commended the Government for accepting most of the recommendations, including those made by Morocco concerning the strengthening of the national human rights institution and the consolidation of an independent judiciary. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s commitment to human rights had been reflected during the process and, among others, it was implementing measures to protect the rights of women such as gender-sensitive budgeting.

Romania welcomed the open and transparent manner in which consultations had been conducted during the drafting of the national report. The acceptance of the majority of the recommendations illustrated the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s commitment to ensuring respect for human rights.

United Nations Children Fund called on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to pay special attention to the access of Roma children to early childhood services, to further protect children with disabilities and to increase capacities to effectively implement the new law on child justice. The National Child Rights Commission should be given sufficient resources to protect the rights of children in the country.

Viet Nam appreciated the commitment of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to further engage in the Universal Periodic Review and welcomed the adoption of recommendations made by Viet Nam to further improve gender equality and to engage in dialogue with ethnic groups in the country.

European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Federation expressed regret that the efforts undertaken to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons were not sufficient to guard against discrimination, sexual and domestic violence. The Government should amend its comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation to extend protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and to end impunity for hate crimes against them.

United Nations Watch said that the country was a member of the Human Rights Council and as such had cooperated with its human rights mechanism. United Nations Watch noted that most of the accepted recommendations were already being implemented and hoped that further measures would be taken to guarantee all human rights of all, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

International Planned Parenthood Federation welcomed the many positive recommendations regarding the human rights situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, especially those that raised sexual and reproductive health issues. It was imperative that the State take effective measures to fight discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals and organizations.

IGOR DJUNDEV, Director for Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in concluding remarks expressed gratitude for all contributions made today. Note was taken of all that was said and serious attention and consideration would be given to it. The strong commitment of the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the Universal Periodic Review was reiterated. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia hoped it had managed to demonstrate progress since its first Universal Periodic Review cycle, while aware of challenges still faced.

The Vice-President of the Council said the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had received 104 recommendations and accepted 96.

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of the Comoros

ABDOU OUSSENI, Minister of Justice for Human Rights of the Comoros, said that in its Universal Periodic Review process, the Comoros had received 111 recommendations of which it had deferred 13 and rejected nine. The Comoros had also accepted 12 of the 13 deferred recommendations and rejected one. The consideration for freedom, dignity and mutual respect of all, and the respect for the specific cultural context were the reasons for which the Comoros rejected the recommendation to take measures to ensure freedom of religion and to put a stop to reprisals on Muslims who converted to other religions. Turning to the deferred recommendations, Mr. Ousseni said that the Comoros had accepted 12 which dealt with the ratification of international human rights instruments; revision of the legal system to ensure equal treatment of women in line with the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; prohibition of corporal punishment of children including in homes; criminalization of violence against children and establishment of a minimum legal age for marriage; birth registration; evaluation of trafficking in persons and taking measures to combat this practice; strengthen the institutional framework for child protection; and review its judiciary system to ensure that provisions of the national and the customary law were in line with the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The Comoros had accepted a total of 123 recommendations and would do its utmost to implement them and sincerely hoped for assistance in this matter, which would enable it to preserve the progress the country had made in the respect of human rights.

Yemen expressed appreciation for the Comoros’ efforts to promote and protect human rights despite the challenges and difficulties it faced. The acceptance of a large number of recommendations was evidence of the Comoros’ commitment and determination to advance in the protection of rights, and Yemen called on the Council to adopt the outcome.

Algeria welcomed the Comoros’ constructive commitment and acceptance of recommendations regarding improving access to justice for women in rural areas and improving equality and health and education services, including for children. Algeria wished the Comoros success in the implementation of the recommendations and recommended the adoption of the outcome.

Botswanathanked the Comoros for their participation in the review process, and commended their efforts and the acceptance of many recommendations. As a developing country, the Comoros faced many political and economic challenges and Botswana encouraged the international community to do more in terms of international cooperation to improve the situation in the Comoros.

China commended the Comoros’ constructive and active participation and the acceptance of the majority of the recommendations, including those made by China, and hoped that the Government would continue with its strategy towards poverty reduction and development. China welcomed the Government’s efforts towards the protection of rights, including health, education, and other public services, and called on the international community to continue to provide support.

Cuba was thankful for the information provided on the recommendations. It recognized efforts made by the Comoros to tackle challenges in promoting human rights, as revealed by the information provided on measures to reduce maternal and infant mortality, among others. Cuba welcomed the fact that its two recommendations were accepted by the Comoros, relating to the adoption of measures to improve access to health and education.

Mali praised the Comoros for its efforts to better protect and promote human rights. Mali encouraged it to continue the momentum that it had launched, reflected by the implementation of 52 recommendations from the 2009 review, as well as its acceptance of almost all recommendations made during the current review. The international community was invited to support the Comoros in the implementation of the recommendations.

Morocco welcomed the exemplary cooperation of the Comoros with the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which reflected its irreversible determination to pursue human rights. Morocco was abreast of political and legislative structures put in place to those ends, and welcomed the operalisation of the Human Rights Commission based on the Paris Principles. Morocco congratulated the authorities with regards to measures taken on education and reduction of poverty.

Qatar hailed the positive engagement of the Comoros with the mechanism and with the Council in order to meet its international human rights obligations and commitments. Qatar valued that the Government of the Comoros had sought the support of partners in the implementation of the recommendations accepted. Qatar wished the Comoros progress and success, and recommended the adoption of the outcome.

Senegal commended the Comoros for their constructive engagement with the Universal Periodic Review process and noted with satisfaction that 12 of the 13 reported recommendations had been accepted, including the one made by Senegal to strengthen the institutional framework for child protection. Senegal invited the Human Rights Council to adopt the outcome of the Comoros.

Togo welcomed the progress made by the Comoros since its first Universal Periodic Review cycle, especially in the areas of health, education and women’s rights. Togo welcomed the fact that the Comoros had adopted most of the recommendations it had received, including the one made by Togo on the abolition of the death penalty.

United Arab Emirates appreciated the positive steps made by the Comoros to implement the recommendations from the previous Universal Periodic Review and the pledges voluntarily adopted. The Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should accord all attention to the aspirations of the Comoros to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights in the country and extend to it the necessary technical assistance.

Venezuela welcomed the efforts of the Comoros to comply with its human rights commitments and encouraged it to continue to bolster social policies to improve the living standards of its people. Venezuela recommended the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review outcome of the Comoros.

Angola welcomed efforts made by the Comoros for the promotion and protection of human rights, and the acceptance of most of the recommendations which illustrated the commitment to cooperate with human rights mechanisms. Angola recommended the adoption of the report.

Rencontre Africain pour la defense des droits de l’homme noted the efforts made by the Comoros to implement the recommendations arising from the first review cycle, and reiterated concerns regarding the situation of those in detention. They urged the Comoros to take measures to guarantee full freedom of religion, to promote human rights education, and to take measures to tackle corruption.

The Vice-President of the Council indicated that out of 132 recommendations, 123 enjoyed support and the rest had been noted.

ABDOU OUSSENI, Minister of Justice for Human Rights of the Comoros, thanked delegations for their cooperation. The Comoros was sensitive to comments and recommendations made by delegations and efforts would be made to implement all accepted recommendations. The interest shown by delegations was very moving and the Comoros hoped to prove worthy of this interest. Mr. Ousseni reiterated the Comoros’ openness to all institutions and Special Procedures who would like to visit the Comoros to contribute to the Government’s efforts in favour of human rights. Mr. Ousseni, also thanked the Office of the High Commissioner, the Office of the Resident Coordinator and of the United Nations Children’s Fund in the Comoros, and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, for their support during the review process and the implementation of the report.

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Slovakia

FEDOR ROSOCHA, Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that increased attention of both government and non-governmental actors to human rights and fundamental freedoms was the major achievement of the Universal Periodic Review and said that its potential should be further developed while maintaining focus on its main elements, in particular its universality and dialogue-based approach. Of the 146 recommendations received during its Universal Periodic Review, Slovakia had accepted 133, some of which were already being implemented. Slovakia did not accept seven recommendations and partially accepted six; those were supported in principle but Slovakia was not in a position to address them fully. Slovakia was committed to fully strengthening human rights protection and had developed the first National Human Rights Plan. Slovakia was not in a position to ratify the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and two International Labour Organization Conventions; the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was being examined by the Parliament in view of its ratification.

Improving the situation of the Roma community was a long-term priority and the Government would continue to implement existing programmes and strategies with a view to achieving tangible progress in the integration of the Roma. Slovakia did not accept the recommendation to establish a separate complaint mechanism for discrimination of Roma in the education system as its legislative framework already provided a possibility for complaint handling. It rejected the recommendation regarding the participation of the Roma minority in Parliament because the Parliament was constituted on civic principle, but would support the involvement of Roma in the civil society and in elected bodies through the existing programmes and strategies. Vulnerable groups such as women, children, persons with disabilities, migrants, and refugees enjoyed special protection and Slovakia would pursue national policies to address their special needs. Likewise, Slovakia would continue to ensure full and effective protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities.

Algeria commended Slovakia for the acceptance of a number of recommendations, in particular that presented by Algeria concerning the accreditation of the Slovak Centre of Human Rights as a national institution in accordance with the Paris Principle. Algeria wished Slovakia success in the implementation of the recommendations and recommended the adoption of the outcome.

Belarus noted the acceptance of the majority of the recommendations, including those presented by Belarus concerning the prevention of torture and human trafficking. Belarus regretted that Slovakia had rejected the recommendation to prohibit the activities of extremist organizations, at the time it was hosting extremist groups whose leaders had made discriminatory remarks against the Roma community, and called on the Government to put an end to the segregation of Roma children.

Côte d’Ivoire noted the continuous engagement of Slovakia in the review process and welcomed the institutional and administrative will to guarantee the rule of law and involving different governmental and non-governmental organizations to increase the effectiveness of the promotion and protection of women’s rights.

Cuba thanked Slovakia for accepting the two recommendations submitted by Cuba concerning the right to employment and the combat against racism, xenophobia and racial discrimination; and welcomed efforts to implement recommendations emerging from the first review cycle. Cuba recommended the adoption of the outcome.

Morocco commended Slovakia for its engagement with the Universal Periodic Review and the acceptance of two recommendations made by Morocco regarding strengthening the national human rights institution to bring it in line with the Paris Principles. Morocco noted the measures to improve the situation of Roma and human rights education and training and encouraged Slovakia to continue efforts in this regard.

Romania appreciated the fact that the whole process had been conducted in a fair and transparent manner and that civil society had been involved in the drafting of the report. Slovakia had a comprehensive institutional and legal framework that ensured the implementation of legislation on human rights and Romania appreciated Slovakia’s explanation for its rejection of some recommendations.

Venezuela regretted that the Government had rejected the recommendations concerning the Roma and to guarantee full independence of the judiciary council. Venezuela expressed willingness to continue to work with Slovakia to ensure that necessary steps were taken to improve the human rights situation in this country.

Viet Nam welcomed Slovakia’s acceptance of the majority of recommendations received during its Universal Periodic Review and the strong commitment of Slovakia to their implementation.

Centre for Reproductive Rights welcomed the commitment of Slovakia to adopt a national programme on reproductive rights and urged it to ensure that it was comprehensive, based on international human rights and the World Health Organization’s standards, and supported by sufficient financial and human resources.

FEDOR ROSOCHA, Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the United Nations Office at Geneva, in his concluding remarks, said that the Universal Periodic Review played a unique and effective role in promoting the development of human rights. All comments would be transmitted to the Slovak authorities and carefully looked at.

The President of the Council said that out of 146 recommendations, Slovakia had accepted 133 and taken note of 13.

The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Slovakia.
_________

For use of the information media; not an official record