28 September 2020
Concludes General Debate on Human Rights Situations that Require the Council’s Attention
The Human Rights Council this morning adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Kyrgyzstan, Guinea and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. It also concluded its general debate on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention.
Speaking on the Universal Periodic Review of Kyrgyzstan were Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UN Women, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Armenia, Belgium, China, Cuba and Egypt.
Also taking the floor were the following non-governmental organizations : Article 19 - International Centre Against Censorship, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, United Nations Watch, International Fellowship of Reconciliation, and Action Canada for Population and Development.
Speaking on the Universal Periodic Review of Guinea were Venezuela, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Chad, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia and Gabon.
Also taking the floor were the following non-governmental organizations : International Service for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Plan International, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l'homme, and Organisation pour la Communication en Afrique et de Promotion de la Cooperation Economique Internationale - OCAPROCE Internationale.
Speaking on the Universal Periodic Review of Lao People’s Democratic Republic were Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom, United Nations Children's Fund, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, China, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Egypt.
Also taking the floor were the following non-governmental organizations : Alliance Defending Freedom, Amnesty International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, United Nations Watch, CIVICUS - World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Society for Threatened Peoples, and Lao People's Democratic Republic.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Council concluded its general debate on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention.
Speaking were the following non-governmental organizations : Association Thendral, Society for Development and Community Empowerment, Tamil Uzhagam, Reprieve, Presse Embleme Campagne, Africa Culture International, Together against the death penalty, Center for Organisation Research and Education, Prahar, International Career Support Association, International Educational Development, Inc., Guinee Humanitaire, Conscience and Peace Tax International, International Catholic Migration Commission, Commission Africaine des promoteurs de la santé et des droits de l'Homme, Comité International pour le Respect et l'Application de la Charte Africaine des Droits de l'Homme, Asociacion HazteOir.org, Centre for Human Rights and Peace Advocacy, Association Culturelle des Tamouls en France, Jeunesse Etudiante Tamoule, Action of Human Movement, B'nai B'rith, Justiça Global, and Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations.
Iran spoke in point of order.
Speaking in right of reply were Venezuela, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Russian Federation, Egypt, Japan, Cameroon, Thailand, Brazil, Iran, Cuba, Cambodia, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Georgia, Germany, Bolivia and Djibouti.
The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here. All meeting summaries can be found here. Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council’s forty-fifth regular session can be found here.
During its midday meeting, the Council will consider the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Lesotho, Kenya, Armenia and Sweden.
General Debate on Human Rights Situations that Require the Council’s Attention
The general debate on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention started in previous meetings and the summary can be found here and here.
Speakers drew the Council's attention to the lack of press freedom in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and urged thorough investigations into all abuses against media workers by international mechanisms when States were unable or unwilling to carry them out. Speakers also broached the human rights violations in, or involving, the following countries or areas : Rakhine state, State of Palestine, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Bahrain, Malta, Turkey, Western Sahara, Iran, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lesbos, Jammu and Kashmir, Tindouf and Brazil.
Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Kyrgyzstan
Presentation by Kyrgyzstan
DANIIAR MUKASHEV, Permanent Representative of Kyrgyzstan to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said Kyrgyzstan’s legislation provided for a sufficient protection level of stateless persons’ rights and met international norms. Regarding the creation of the independent body for investigating all allegations of torture, existing legislation contained adequate provisions in this respect.
Speakers noted the Government of Kyrgyzstan’s efforts to combat trafficking in human beings. They encouraged the Government to take urgent actions to close persistent gender gaps in political and economic areas by stepping up women’s full political participation and gender parity in decision-making at all levels. Noting that Kyrgyzstan had not accepted the recommendation to ensure that all victims of the conflict in 2010 were appropriately compensated, speakers encouraged the Government to reconsider its position. Speakers regretted that key recommendations on eliminating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and recommendations to set up an independent body to investigate torture and other ill-treatment were merely noted.
The Vice-President of the Council informed that out of 232 recommendations received, 193 enjoyed the support of Kyrgyzstan and 39 were noted.
DANIIAR MUKASHEV, Permanent Representative of Kyrgyzstan to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said the courts of Kyrgyzstan had carried out all required procedural actions under the criminal case with regard to Azimjan Askarov ; all international norms had been respected. Regarding the death of Mr. Askarov, all appropriate investigations were being conducted. The Government was firmly committed to promoting and protecting the human rights of all persons.
The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review of Kyrgyzstan.
Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Guinea
Presentation by Guinea
MAMADOU TARAN DIALLO, Minister of Citizenship and National Unity of Guinea, said that, in January, on the occasion of the conclusion of the review of Guinea, he had committed to confer with all local institutional, political and social actors before commenting on the various recommendations. A vast information campaign on the recommendations had been effectively carried out in order to allow each of the actors to understand them better and to feel they were involved in their implementation. Out of 213 recommendations, the Government had accepted 208 and noted four ; it was committed to implementing the accepted recommendations.
Speakers congratulated Guinea for the large number of recommendations it had accepted and its efforts to increase the quality of healthcare and education, notably in rural areas. While welcoming the commitment of the authorities to end impunity and refrain from the disproportionate use of force against demonstrators, speakers noted that, on the eve of the controversial presidential election, the Guinean authorities had seemed to no longer tolerate dissent, as they had arrested and detained opponents to the President’s third term. Speakers urged the State to effectively enact a law on female genital mutilation and to disseminate it in local languages.
The Vice-President of the Council informed that out of 213 recommendations received, 203 enjoyed the support of Guinea and 10 were noted.
ARAFAN KABINÉ KABA, Permanent Representative of Guinea to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said the fact that the Government had approved 203 recommendations attested to its willingness to strive tirelessly to increase the enjoyment of human rights in the country. The 10 recommendations that had been noted pertained to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans issues. Perhaps things would change, but it was important to bear in mind the reality of the country.
The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review of Guinea.
Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Presentation by Lao People’s Democratic Republic
KHAM-INH KHITCHADETH, Permanent Representative of Lao People’s Democratic Republic to the United Nations Office at Geneva, pointing out that the Government had supported more than 70 per cent of all recommendations, said that the 160 accepted recommendations were in line with the Constitution, laws and realities of the country. The 66 noted recommendations were either partially supported by the Government or inapplicable. On the invitation of Special Procedures, he reiterated that the country’s engagement with the said mechanisms should be based on readiness on both sides.
Speakers commended Lao People’s Democratic Republic for consulting widely with relevant stakeholders, including civil society, on all its received recommendations; they also commended the country’s cooperation with United Nations treaty bodies and Special Procedures, and its very effective response to COVID-19. While welcoming decisions to further address child trafficking, early marriage and infant mortality, and to improve the quality of education, speakers regretted that the recommendation to develop a comprehensive national strategy on the rights of the child with a specific budget line and monitoring mechanism had only been noted. Other speakers were concerned about the Government’s decision not to accept recommendations on steps to abolish the death penalty, and to investigate grave human rights violations, including cases of enforced disappearance and torture in the country.
The Vice-President of the Council informed that out of 226 recommendations received, 160 enjoyed the support of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and 66 were noted.
KHAM-INH KHITCHADETH, Permanent Representative of Lao People’s Democratic Republic to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said the Universal Periodic Review provided Lao People’s Democratic Republic with the opportunity to move forward towards the promotion and protection of human rights.
The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review of Lesotho
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