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Human Rights Council concludes general debate on technical assistance and capacity building in the field of human rights

MORNING

1 October 2015

The Human Rights Council this morning concluded its general debate on technical assistance and capacity building in the field of human rights.

The general debate started on Wednesday, 30 September and a summary can be read here.

During the debate, speakers expressed concerns about the human rights situation in countries concerned by this agenda item and were worried about reports of attacks against civilians. They said international cooperation was necessary for the effective promotion and protection of human rights, but said that external aid had to be based on and taken with the explicit consent of the receiving State. National efforts should be complemented with international programmes designed to support States’ initiatives. They expressed their support to the activities of the Office of the High Commissioner for human rights, and to providing technical assistance and capacity building with the consent and collaboration of States. They opposed any attempts to politicize the discussions on this issue.

Speaking during the general debate were Germany, Ireland, Sierra Leone, Venezuela, France, United Kingdom, China, United States, Japan, Maldives, Ghana, Viet Nam, El Salvador, South Africa, Turkey, Council of Europe, Egypt, Senegal, Georgia, United Nations Children’s Fund, Belarus, Organization of the Islamic Conference, Philippines, Angola, Canada, African Union, Gulf Cooperation Council, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand.

The following non-governmental organizations also spoke: Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, Iraqi Development Organization, Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association, Human Rights Information and Training Centre, International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights, Liberation, World Barua Organization, Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development, United Nations Watch, International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism, Cameroon Youths and Students Forum for Peace, Centre for Reproductive Rights, International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, Human Rights Watch, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Advocates for Human Rights, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, Global Network for Rights and Development, Africa Speaks, Alsalam Foundation, Agence pour les Droits de l’Homme, Iranian Elite Research Centre, Khiam Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture, International Humanist and Ethnical Union, Association des Jeunes pour l’Agriculture au Mali, Alliance Creative Community Project, Save the Children International, Association Burkinabe pour la Survie de l’Enfance, Association Mauritanian pour la Promotion du Droit, Rencontre Africaine pour la Defense des Droits de l’Homme, Africa Culture International Human Rights, Amnesty International, Prahar, International Career Support Association, Association of World Citizens, Organisation Internationale pour les Pays les Moins Avancés, Centre Independant de Recherches et d’Initiatives pour le Dialogue, Al Zubair Charitable Foundation, Solidarité Suisse-Guinée and Sikh Human Rights Group.

Thailand, Myanmar, Nigeria and Cameroon spoke in right of reply.

The Council will reconvene this afternoon at 1 p.m. to start taking action on draft decisions and resolutions before it concludes its thirtieth regular session on Friday, 2 October.



General Debate on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

Germany was deeply concerned about the high number of civilian casualties and the recruitment of children during the conflict in Yemen, and called on all parties to abide by international humanitarian law. Germany condemned atrocities by Boko Haram, and said all those responsible must be held to account. Concerned countries should investigate all allegations of human rights violations.

Ireland reiterated its strong support to the work of the Office of the High Commissioner on technical assistance and capacity building, which was essential to the advancement of human rights. Ireland highlighted the important contribution of civil society organizations at the local level. It also expressed concerns about various reports of indiscriminate attacks against civilians, and called for initiatives to hold perpetrators accountable. Ireland urged the Iraqi authorities to ensure that all actions taken to counter terrorism were in compliance with human rights.

Sierra Leone said technical assistance by the Office of the High Commissioner was vital to many countries, and regretted that recommendations made in reports under this agenda item remained largely un-implemented. What role could the Council take to ensure that funding was secured to support receiving countries in addressing the most pressing human rights concerns? Sierra Leone was worried that some countries that had agreed to technical assistance did not facilitate the work of the Experts.

Venezuela said this agenda was meant to tackle technical assistance with the consent and cooperation of countries. Myanmar had been under colonialism for a decade. The sanctions unilaterally imposed on the country had had a negative effect on human rights, including the right to development. It was necessary to continue the cooperation of Myanmar in a spirit of dialogue and respect of its people’s right to self-determination. Venezuela was worried about attempts to politicize this agenda item.

France noted that the recent events in the Central African Republic had reminded the international community of how fragile the situation was. The fight against impunity remained crucial. France encouraged the Democratic Republic of the Congo to pursue the implementation of its human rights obligations. As for Yemen, France expressed concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation, whereas in Ukraine it advocated the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

United Kingdom voiced deep concern about the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the fragile humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic. It continued to support the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Cambodia, and underlined the importance of meaningful consultation with civil society on any future draft legislation. It urged Somalia to establish key human rights legislation and reach agreement on an inclusive electoral process for 2016.

China supported strengthening technical assistance and capacity building in the field of human rights. It encouraged the Office of the High Commissioner to constantly increase allocations and their effective use, and to improve transparency in the use of funds. Those funds should be given on the basis of prior wide consultation and consent of countries, in line with full respect for the ownership of the host country. The Office should ensure the independent use of voluntary funds, abiding by the principles of the United Nations Charter and respect for the independence, sovereignty and territoriality of countries. Politicization and interference into internal affairs of countries should be avoided.

United States stated that the Council’s mission to improve human rights was not only achieved on the basis of advocacy, but also through helping countries identify their problems. In Thailand, the United States was worried about military detention and intimidation against journalists and opposition leaders. It was very concerned about the ongoing conflict in Yemen, the dire humanitarian situation, and reports of civilian deaths and infrastructure damage caused by the Coalition strikes. The Yemeni parties should be brought back to the negotiating table.

Japan expressed concerns regarding the worsening human rights situation in South Sudan, and hoped that the peace agreement would be faithfully observed. Japan encouraged further efforts by Cambodia to improve human rights and was ready to provide its utmost cooperation in this regard. Japan shared concerns regarding the situation of minorities in Myanmar and related irregular migration. Japan welcomed Myanmar’s cooperation with the United Nations, and hoped that the forthcoming elections would be held in a free and fair manner.

Maldives said international cooperation was necessary for the effective promotion and protection of human rights, but said that external aid had to be based on and taken with the explicit consent of the receiving State. Maldives said that national efforts should be complemented with international programmes designed to support States’ initiatives. It called on South Sudan to cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner. Maldives urged the Office of the High Commissioner to provide all necessary technical assistance to Yemen, with the support of the international community.

Ghana said the international community should redouble its efforts to come to the rescue of the 200 school girls kidnapped by Boko haram. Ghana stressed the importance that countries concerned by this agenda item introduced and implemented accountability mechanisms on widespread and systematic human rights violations, coupled with the unrelenting backing of the Council and the Office of the High Commissioner. The Council must continue to uphold its mandate to prevent and address human rights situations everywhere, and therefore strike a reasonable balance between the sovereign right to non-interference and the humanitarian principle of non-indifference.

Viet Nam said there was an ongoing democratisation, reconciliation and national reform process toward social tolerance, peace and prosperity. He called upon all stakeholders, including Myanmar, United Nations mechanisms and interested international partners to continue its dialogue and engagement.

El Salvador thanked the High Commissioner for his report. The delegation condemned the escalation of violations against civilian populations in Africa. Expressing El Salvador’s support for all actions taken by the international community against the barbaric acts of Boko Haram, he sent a solidarity and support message to the families affected by that violence.

South Africa said issues of poverty could lead to intolerance. Extremism, if not detected at an early stage and contained through effective legislation, could easily degenerate into violent manifestations and terrorist acts. Accordingly, it was imperative that the international community worked collaboratively with Nigeria and its regional mechanisms towards the resolution of the conflict.

Turkey said it was critical that the Government of Myanmar respected human rights and fundamental freedoms of its people, regardless of their race and religion. In view of the upcoming elections, Turkey was seriously concerned about the deprivation of the Rohingyas of their right to vote. While it supported the Government’s efforts regarding the settlement of the Muslim internally displaced persons, it was also important that the Government ensured their return to normal living conditions.

Council of Europe stated that many of its projects specifically targeted legal professionals at the national level, as a pre-condition for coherent implementation of the European Convention of Human Rights. The Council of Europe worked with courts, judicial councils and ministries of justice in several Member States to achieve that aim. Various programmes were tailored to national needs and carried a strong sense of national ownership, in order to address social challenges.

Egypt stated that terrorism had changed its face. The new kind of terrorism had severe effects on human rights and its consequences endangered regional stability and security, economy and development. It thus called on the international community and United Nations agencies to play their role and provide the necessary assistance to fight Boko Haram in Africa and various terrorist groups in the Middle East.

Senegal noted that it was essential to continue the peace process in South Sudan in order to prevent the escalation of the suffering of civilians. In Myanmar it called on the Government to take measures to resolve discrimination against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities. As for Boko Haram, it expressed solidarity with Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin, and called for international support in order to reinforce the capacity of those States to fight against Boko Haram.

Georgia said human rights issues remained an important part of the education programmes in Georgia. Winter and summer schools were organized on this issue. Georgia devoted considerable time to monitor how social science was taught at schools. Teachers were trained on gender equality, and education addressed non-violence. Human rights education was crucial for the promotion of tolerance and peace.

United Nations Children’s Fund welcomed Yemen’s successful organization of exams for children who missed earlier exams because of the conflict, its management of health and nutrition services and the vaccination of millions of children. It was also encouraged by the commitment of the authorities to provide psychological support to distressed children, and applauded exceptional efforts to provide access to safe water and sanitation. It was extremely concerned however at the deaths of children due to the armed conflict, or their recruitment by armed forces.

Belarus said international cooperation on human rights should be carried out with the agreement of the domestic States, taking into account national priorities and in full respect of the mandate of the United Nations procedures. Belarus had taken measures in the field of human rights, including human rights programmes, in collaboration with civil society and other partners.

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation thanked the High Commissioner for his comprehensive oral update on the status of the Rohingya and other Muslim minorities in Myanmar. It was alarming to witness human rights violations in a country that was celebrated for undergoing so-called ‘political reform’. The Organisation requested the Council to strongly urge the Government to reinstate all the basis of the Rohingya, and allow them to vote in the upcoming elections.

Philippines acknowledged the political reform undertaken by Myanmar. The delegation encouraged the Government to ensure the security and the protection of the basic rights and well-being of all people in the country. He also hoped that Myanmar addressed the minority from falling prey to human traffickers.

Angola welcomed and supported commitments undertaken by the international community to combat extremism and terrorism in the territories occupied by Boko Haram. Angola strongly condemned the barbaric acts committed by Boko Haram, and called upon the international community to provide technical and financial assistance to the concerned countries.

Canada condemned the ongoing and widespread impunity for abuses and violations of human rights in Somalia, and called on all parties to ensure that decisive action was taken to protect the people of Somalia. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Canada noted efforts taken to combat impunity. However, it remained deeply concerned about the general insecurity, frequent human rights violations and the precarious humanitarian situation. Cambodia was concerned about the recent arrests and harassment of opposition politicians and civil society members.

African Union drew attention to the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and called on the entire international community to mobilize and put an end to the situation. Since the creation of the multinational task force by Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Chad, the confrontation with Boko Haram had continued in a frontal manner in order to protect innocent civilian population. In that fight the African Union had adopted a global approach which was in line with all international human rights standards.

Gulf Cooperation Council said a durable solution for Yemen should be based on the Riyadh Agreement, and the return of the legitimate President to Aden. It called on the international community to make every possible effort to normalize the situation in Yemen. The legitimate Government of Yemen had set up a truth commission to establish the rule of law and address the committed crimes. It strongly condemned the acts by the Houthi militias and urged for humanitarian assistance for Yemeni civilians.

Lao People’s Democratic Republic noted the positive developments in Myanmar and the Government’s efforts to promote good governance and democratic society, national consolidation and economic and social development. It stressed that the Universal Periodic Review was the right mechanism to promote human rights in any country, and called on the international community to help Myanmar realize national consolidation and reconciliation.

Thailand commended the Office of the High Commissioner for its technical assistance activities, and stressed that mutual confidence between it and the receiving States was crucial. Technical assistance should therefore not be imposed. Thailand would table a resolution on this at this session. Thailand believed that the root causes of the problems faced by the Rakhine State in Myanmar needed to be addressed, and called on the international community to remain engaged with Myanmar.

Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain Inc encouraged Saudi Arabia to engage in technical assistance and cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It should extend this programme and include guarantees for civil society participation, and build a protective space for human rights defenders.

Iraqi Development Organization was deeply concerned that a draft resolution tabled by the Netherlands that would establish a monitoring mission in Yemen had been withdrawn in benefit of a weaker resolution by Saudi Arabia, which worryingly recognized the legitimacy of a National Commission under Hadi’s Presidential Decree No. 13, which was plagued and not mandated to investigate crimes by the Saudi-led coalition.

Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association was concerned about civilian casualties in Sudan, and particularly in South Kordofan and Blue Nile conflict affected areas. Political leaders had also been detained unlawfully. It then referred to human rights violations against the Tripuri of India, who were scarcely being provided basic facilities and squeezed to minorities by the illegal migrants from Bangladesh. The Council should provide technical assistance to India.

Human Rights Information and Training Center drew attention to the current human rights violations in Yemen. It was concerned that children were used as soldiers and there were limitations on the freedom of expression. Accordingly, he called upon the international community to protect civilians in all Yemeni provinces.

International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights welcomed the High Commissioner for recognising the values of using a human rights based approach. The Institute stressed the important role of human rights institutions in monitoring and supporting the implementation of policies and programs.

Liberation welcomed United Nations reports on the situation in India, and urged the Council to fulfil the technicalities of all the recommendations of United Nations bodies for the repeal of military law in India.

World Barua Organization warned of the continued devastating effects of the conflicts in several Sudanese states, such as civilian casualties, sexual violence against women and girls, destruction of civilian property and hundreds of thousands of civilians fleeing from their homes. It also drew attention to a similar situation in north east India where the local population was supressed by the local law authorities and forced to leave their homes, as the Government of India was demolishing their houses in the name of development.

Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development said that minorities in Myanmar and South Africa suffered because little or no protection was provided to them by Governments. Those countries should be given primary attention by the Council. It urgent the Council to send human rights experts to those countries in order to raise awareness on international human rights standards, and provide them with technical assistance and capacity building.

United Nations Watch expressed deep concern about the human rights abuses committed by Boko Haram and the Islamic State throughout West Africa and the Middle East. Boko Haram had aligned itself with the mission and ideology of the Islamic State. In Iraq “honour” remained a permissible defence for violence against women, allowing fatalities of many hundreds of women by “honour killings” every year. Even though women should be fully covered in public, they remained targeted for sexual violence and sexual slavery.

International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism was concerned about atrocities by Boko Haram, and severe and widespread violations of the rights of women, including sexual violence and sexual slavery. Once rescued, women continued to face stigmatization. The Nigerian Government should do its utmost to protect civilians while countering Boko Haram, take measures to protect women and girls, including psychological counselling, and offer sufficient protection and remedies to victims.

Cameroon Youths and Students Forum for Peace called upon Myanmar to take all measures to protect the rights of Rohingya Muslims, and to protect them from trafficking by addressing the root causes of discrimination that they faced. Children continued to be present in the ranks of government forces and armed groups, and urgent measures needed to be taken to ensure the prohibition of child soldiers, including the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts.

Center for Reproductive Rights was concerned at severe human rights violations against women and girls by Boko Haram, including sexual slavery, forced marriage and forced pregnancy, amounting to crimes against humanity. It was vital that women and girls affected had access to obstetric and antenatal care, access to contraceptive services, access to safe abortion and access to counselling free from discrimination, coercion or violence.

International Federation for Human Rights Leagues said that parties to the conflict in Yemen had committed serious violations of international law, including indiscriminate air strikes and the firing of weapons into civilian populated areas. In South Sudan, the culture of impunity had fuelled violence, and enabled the perpetration of serious crimes for almost two years. Accordingly, the Federation reiterated its call on the Council to establish an international investigating mechanism to collect information related to violations, and to identify those responsible from such acts.

Human Rights Watch said the Human Rights Council had failed to protect human rights violations committed against Iraqi and Yemeni people. It was regrettable that the Council could not reach consensus to take all necessary actions in order to prevent ongoing violations.

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies underlined the deteriorating situation in Yemen, where terrorist groups committed alleged violations against civilians. The Institute was also worried about the flow of humanitarian aid that had been blocked. Reminding the Council about the High Commissioner’s recommendations, she said previous initiatives had failed due to the absence of political will.

Advocates for Human Rights supported the focus of the High Commissioner on technical assistance and capacity building options for integrating human rights into national policies. Successful mainstreaming of human rights depended on good laws and the enforcement of those laws. To create good laws States had to understand the best practices that needed to be included.

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, in a joint statement, stated that judicial harassment was a dominant method for silencing human rights defenders and civil society actors in a number of States, such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Viet Nam and many others. In Thailand, authorities had participated in the abuse of criminal detention laws to prosecute defenders who reported on rights violation by Thailand’s military authorities and businesses.

Global Network for Rights and Development drew the Council’s attention to the issue of children who were recruited in the Yemeni conflict. The recruitment and the use of children in conflict rose sharply during the escalation of the conflict after the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen. It was vital to reform national laws to ensure that children’s rights were secured in national legislation, as well as to issue military orders that prohibited recruitment and use of children.

Africa Speaks was deeply worried at the deterioration of the human rights situation in Yemen, and the high number of civilian casualties as a result of the conflict. The blockade had led to a worsening of the humanitarian situation. All parties should end hostilities against civilians and abide by international human rights and humanitarian law. Perpetrators of such violations had to be brought to justice.

Alsalam Foundation was concerned about Bahrain’s lack of cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which was of great concern in view of the deteriorating human rights situation on the ground. It was troubling that Bahrain had refused access to Special Procedures of the Council, and had failed to implement Universal Periodic Review recommendations.

Agence pour les droits de l’homme welcomed the report on Sudan, and expressed optimism about the Independent Expert’s talks with various members of the Government and civil society. Sudan was still suffering from the negative effect of unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States, which had had a negative impact on human rights, particularly for women and girls, and economic growth.

Iranian Elite Research Center showed its sincere appreciation to the Council’s adoption of a resolution condemning the systematic gross violations of human rights and grave abuses committed against Rohingyas. The Centre urged the Government of Myanmar to take all necessary steps to protect Muslim minorities in the country.

Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture highlighted the urgent need to protect Yemeni people, considering the current security situation in the country. The international community was responsible to provide all sorts of assistance to restore the hope of Yemeni people in living a peaceful life.

International Humanist and Ethnical Union said the extreme cruelty and violence the world was witnessing was very revolting and inhuman. Such violence showed the failure of the international community to help foster a ‘human rights climate’ in the Middle East region.

Association des jeunes pour l’agriculture du Mali noted that the Tamils still lived under heavy military presence in their homeland. Neither the United States nor India could persuade the Sri Lankan Government to bring justice to the Tamils. Rather, they established military cooperation with the Government. It reminded that the Sri Lankan forces had been involved in the sexual abuse of Tamil children. It called for international investigation of the crimes of genocide against the Tamils, and it rejected any kind of investigation in which the Sri Lankan Government was involved.

Alliance Creative Community Project noted that the United Nations appointed three-member panel of experts put the number of dead Tamils at 70,000. Thousands of displaced remained to be resettled, and many innocent Tamils were languishing in unknown detention centres. The Project urged the international community not to be cheated by the Government of Sri Lanka and to press for an international impartial mechanism which would give solace to the victims and impose confidence in the working of the United Nations systems.

Save the Children International noted that children’s voices continued to be marginalized in public affairs and their opinions were often less valued than those of adults. Children’s meaningful participation was often hampered by the lack of access to information that made sense to them. Children often met legal and administrative challenges in forming their own organizations, including registration.

Association Burkinabé pour la Survie de l’Enfance welcomed the report on Sri Lanka, and stressed that in view of the crimes of humanity and war crimes that had been perpetrated, the situation should be deferred to the International Criminal Court as the Hybrid Tribunal would not be effective in ensuring accountability. The Council should remain seized of the matter. In Sri Lanka, systematic torture and sexual violence were used as a way of punishing the Tamil population.

Association Mauritanienne pour la promotion du droit said genocide had been perpetrated against the Tamil people, and continued today. Abuses in Sri Lanka arose in the Unitary State structure created by the British. The United States and India were playing the past role of the British in backing the Unitary State in the island, and should bear the responsibility for the current and future crimes against the affected people.

Rencontre africaine pour la défense des droits de l’homme said assistance had to be provided to countries in order to address human rights concerns. Coordinating policies had to be put in place for managing aid resources. The situation in Sudan deserved the Council’s attention and should be considered under agenda item 4. It expressed concerns about the human rights situations in Somalia and Ukraine.

Africa Culture Internationale said since 1948, the Government of Pakistan had supressed the people of Baluchistan through violence and intimidation. Because of its distinct identity, culture, history, and political opinion, Pakistan was employing all inhuman methods to wipe out the Baloch people from their homeland. The systematic abuse of human rights, subjugation, suppression and involuntary disappearances constituted a process of ‘slow motion genocide’ of the Baloch people.

Amnesty International welcomed the High Commissioner’s report on Boko Haram. The conflict between armed group Boko Haram and government security forces of Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad had devastated the lives of hundreds of civilians. Despite recent advances by Nigerian and regional armed forces, Boko Haram fighters continued to deliberately target civilians. Accordingly, the Organisation urged the Council to call on the Government of States affected by Boko Haram to implement the recommendations made by the High Commissioner.

Prahar said numerous United Nations human rights treaty bodies and Special Procedures had recommended that India repeal its Armed Forces Special Act, which clearly violated international law. Prahar pressed upon India the need to abide by international law. Democracy could not be muffled for certain sections of the society by using this military law against minorities.

International Career Support Association noted that the sources for the Human Rights Commission report on comfort women had been discredited and disapproved. Several former comfort women had confessed that they had told lies. Another source had admitted that he had fabricated the story in order to sell more books. The Japanese Government adopted a Cabinet decision affirming that “no evidence of forcible mobilization of comfort women was found.” Moreover, the United States Army report n.49 issued in 1944 clearly stated that “comfort women were well paid prostitutes” and not “sex slaves” deprived of freedom.

Association of World Citizens warned of different forms of slavery suffered by people in several countries, the sale of organs and migration due to poverty. Too many migrants were badly treated and exploited, and even died on their way to Europe. Europe had to take decisive action in order to stop the tragedy.

Organisation internationale pour les pays les moins avancés stated that the improvement of technical cooperation and capacity building in the field of human rights was a major challenge for the international community and the Human Rights Council. Such assistance to the least developed countries was of great value because it contributed to a more effective prevention of human rights abuses. It called on the United Nations agencies to provide technical cooperation to least developed countries in an active manner.

CIRID - Centre independant de recherches et d’initiatives pour le dialogue warned that since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka there had not been real progress towards justice for the Tamil population. Certain persons in the current Sri Lankan Government, including the President, were implicated in crimes against humanity committed during the civil war. Given their involvement, there could be no real justice for the Tamil people without an independent international investigation.

Al Zubair Charitable Foundation said the current human rights situation in Sudan was very concerning. The sanctions on the country, unfortunately, were affecting the daily lives of ordinary citizens. In that regard, the Foundation called upon the international community to take this situation into account.

Solidarité Suisse-Guinée noted that Boko Haram continued its heinous attacks on civilian populations, causing deaths and damages. The organization recalled the abductions by the terrorist organization, and congratulated the international community on its determination to find abductees.

Sikh Human Rights Group said current conventions dealing with rights and anti-discrimination instruments were based on the Westphalian meta ethnic Statehood as concessions gained in the dynamics of power. They essentially addressed defects in European post enlightenment philosophies. Most countries were multicultural, multi-racial and multi ethnic. The modern State, accordingly, needed a new orientation, acknowledging the diversity of communities within its boundaries.

Right of Reply

Thailand, speaking in a right of reply, said that the context in the country was complex and that the Government was moving along with reforms to strengthen democracy. The emphasis was indeed on inclusiveness and Thailand was committed to achieve security, prosperity and resilient democracy, improve public sector efficiency, and harmonize order and national reconciliation. Defendants were accorded legal counsel and due process. Only a limited number of cases of the most serious offences were submitted to the military court.

Myanmar, speaking in a right of reply, explained its provisions on the right to citizenship and freedom of speech. Nobody was above the law and there were no shortcuts for the right to vote once a person was a citizen. Myanmar had never encouraged hate speech. Such incidents happened very rarely. Those in shelters were provided with the basic necessities and their living conditions were not worse than those in the countryside. Myanmar was not the first world, but the third world.

Nigeria, speaking in a right of reply in response to Amnesty International, voiced strong reservations towards its statement. Nigeria was committed to investigate any cases of human rights violations allegedly committed by the Multinational Force that fought Boko Haram. The Government had deployed mechanisms for investigation and it would continue to investigate such occurrences. Human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, should refrain from making such allegations.

Cameroon, speaking in a right of reply on human rights violations and the country’s fight against Boko Haram, said Cameroon had a well-established army that was protecting its citizens’ lives. The statement made by Amnesty International lacked research, and the Organization should carry out better research about what was happening on the ground.

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For use of the information media; not an official record