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24 March 2023
AFTERNOON 24 March 2023
The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Ecuador, Tunisia, and Morocco.
The Council adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Ecuador. The Vice-President said that out of 174 recommendations received, 164 enjoyed the support of Ecuador, and 10 were noted.
Speaking on Ecuador were Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Gambia, India, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Tunisia, United Nations Development Coordination Office, and United Nations Women.
Also speaking were Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, Plan International, Action Canada for Population and Development, Istituto InternazionaleMaria Ausiliatrice delle Salesiane di Don Bosco, Centre for Reproductive Rights, CIVICUS - World Alliance for Citizen Participation, and Amnesty International.
The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Tunisia. The Vice-President said out of 283 recommendations received, 192 enjoyed the support of Tunisia, and 91 were noted.
Speaking on Tunisia were Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Chad, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Germany, India, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, and Maldives.
Also speaking were CIVICUS - World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Minority Rights Group, United Nations Watch, World Organization against Torture, Amnesty International, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l'homme, International Commission of Jurists, Advocates for Human Rights, Organisation pour la Communication en Afrique et de Promotion de la Cooperation Economique Internationale, and Interfaith International.
The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Morocco. The Vice-President said out of 306 recommendations received, 232 enjoyed the support of Morocco, and 74 were noted.
Speaking on Morocco were South Africa, United Nations Women, United Arab Emirates, United Nations Population Fund, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, and Brunei Darussalam.
Also speaking were Right Livelihood Award Foundation, Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, International Council Supporting Fair Trial and Human Rights, Action Canada for Population and Development, American Association of Jurists, Amnesty International, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l'homme, Promotion du Développement Economique et Social, Centre du Commerce International pour le Développement, and Organisation pour la Communication en Afrique et de Promotion de la Cooperation Economique Internationale.
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 fifty-second regular session can be found here.
The next meeting of the Council will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, 27 March, when it will consider the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Indonesia, Finland, and the United Kingdom.
The Council has before it the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Ecuador.
Ecuador said it was committed to the universal and cooperative mechanism of the Universal Periodic Review. Of the 174 recommendations made to Ecuador, it had accepted 94.25 per cent of them. In the context of the fourth review, Ecuador had undertaken three voluntary commitments, including the institutionalisation of the national reporting and follow-up mechanism to ensure compliance with the recommendations and commitments undertaken. The Ministry of Women and Human Rights was created - a space where public policies related to gender equality and the eradication of discrimination and gender violence, in all their forms, were designed and promoted. Ecuador had demonstrated its commitment to respecting and promoting the human rights of people on the move and had worked with donor countries and international organizations towards a new regularisation process for the socio-economic insertion of foreign citizens, especially Venezuelans.
The creation of two instruments: a prison census and the public policy on social rehabilitation, would help to guarantee respect for the rights of persons deprived of their liberty. Ecuador had also supported the Declaration of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032 and the creation of the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent, and remained committed to the rights of persons with disabilities. Ecuador reiterated its unequivocal commitment to the respect, promotion and protection of human rights and to the implementation of each of the recommendations stemming from the Universal Periodic Review.
In the discussion on Ecuador, speakers expressed solidarity following the recent earthquake in Ecuador. Some speakers congratulated Ecuador on a successful Universal Periodic Review process, and for the adoption of a large number of recommendations, including improving the reception of refugees and stateless persons. The review of Ecuador reflected the constructive spirit that should always be present in the exercise of the Universal Periodic Review. The progress on protecting the rights of indigenous peoples, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, and persons deprived of liberty was applauded. The creation of the Ministry for Women and Human Rights was commended. The initiative to hold negotiations for creating a binding document on business and human rights, and Ecuador’s participation therein, was appreciated. Ecuador’s efforts in promoting and protecting human rights was welcomed, as was its work to protect the rights of women, children, and indigenous persons, and promote the harmonious co-existence of man and nature.
Some speakers said Ecuador had made significant steps in advancing gender equality and women’s rights, implementing systemic measures and a number of important programmes to ensure the rights to education, health, and economic advancement. Further efforts should be made to strengthen the security and living conditions of persons deprived of liberty through a human rights approach. Child malnutrition remained a problem, in particular for the indigenous, and more efforts ought to be directed in this regard. There was also concern for the high prevalence of violence against women, and more efforts should be made to ensure gender equality. The legal framework for abortion should be expanded. Speakers welcomed that Ecuador had accepted 164 recommendations - this demonstrated its unwavering commitment to promoting and protecting human rights at the national level. The constructive engagement of Ecuador during the entire review process was noted with appreciation, showing its strong commitment to the mechanism. Ecuador was wished every success in implementing the recommendations that it had accepted. Speakers recommended the adoption of the report.
The Vice-Chair of the Council said that out of the 174 recommendations received, 164 enjoyed the support of Ecuador, and 10 were noted.
Ecuador reiterated the importance it attached to the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which contributed to ongoing progress in human rights, and would make every effort to implement the recommendations made. Ecuador was the first country to ratify the 27 international conventions considered to be human rights treaties, and would continue to lead the process of developing a legally binding instrument on business and human rights. Ecuador cooperated fully with United Nations mechanisms, the treaty bodies, and the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, and had issued a standing invitation since 2003 for mandate holders to visit the country. Ecuador would continue to address the pending challenges and work to strengthen its capacity through a human rights-based approach with mainstreaming of the gender perspective, disability and age.
The Council has before it the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Tunisia
Tunisia thanked the United Nations human rights mechanisms headed by the Human Rights Council for the support given to the efforts deployed in the human rights sphere by Tunisia. Tunisia paid great importance to the issue of human rights. Out of 283 received recommendations, it had initially accepted 185 recommendations, taking note of 54, namely a 66 per cent acceptance. Tunisia was open to receiving recommendations to bolstering human rights protection, and had now approved another seven recommendations after review, for a total of 192 recommendations accepted, taking the acceptance percentage up to 68 per cent. Tunisia had finished setting up the necessary foundations for democracy and protections in the human rights sphere, through various pieces of legislation and democratic progress. The establishment of a National Assembly would allow Tunisia to respect the recommendations, and implement them through the laws, including recommendations stemming from other human rights bodies.
Tunisia approved recommendations on progressive ratification of the main human rights instruments, which would take place following in-depth studies, allowing Tunisia to shoulder its commitments, in particular with regard to human rights programmes. The state of emergency had been reviewed, and a draft organic law had been established thereon, together with different stakeholders, managing announcements of the State, extensions to it, and the different measures that the judicial powers could take. This draft law had not yet been finalised, but should be adopted as an organic law. The recommendation to abrogate the decree 472 on prerogatives of the Ministry of the Interior had been accepted and this was in progress. Recommendations relating to an insurance regime for unemployment had been accepted, and studies were ongoing to establish a fund in this regard. Tunisia had approved recommendations on stepping up efforts to combat all forms of discrimination in an effective manner. Tunisia would continue its efforts to combat violence and discrimination against women.
In the discussion on Tunisia, some speakers welcomed the delegation of Tunisia, saying that the 192 recommendations it had accepted demonstrated the Tunisian State's commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. The progress made by Tunisia since the last review, including the creation of a national human rights institution, and bringing national legislation in line with international law, was noted with appreciation. It was welcomed that Tunisia supported the recommendation on access to justice by making legal aid more accessible to all, especially for the most vulnerable such as women and people with disabilities. Speakers welcomed the constitutional, legislative, and institutional measures taken by Tunisia, including the adoption of the new Constitution, and the adoption of the organic law on the authority for sustainable development and the rights of future generations, in accordance with the Paris Principles. One speaker recommended that Tunisia amend its legislation to prohibit the prosecution of civilians before military courts.
The Tunisian authorities were encouraged to implement the required measures for an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, with a view to strengthening economic and social rights in the country. Some speakers expressed concern about shrinking civil society space and arrests by Tunisian authorities, targeting opposition groups, journalists and activists. Tunisia was called on to uphold the rule of law and ensure the right to fair trial. Violent attacks against refugees and migrants were concerning; the Government needed to fulfil its obligations to protect this group. Tunisia's rejection of recommendations to implement the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and to repeal article 230 criminalising same-sex sexual relations was regretful. The authorities were urged to cease arrests, prosecution and harassment of individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation. Many speakers supported the adoption of Tunisia’s Universal Periodic Review outcome and wished Tunisia success in the implementation of accepted recommendations.
The Vice-President said that out of the 283 recommendations received, 192 enjoyed the support of Tunisia, and 91 were noted.
Tunisia said it greatly appreciated the support offered by various States, and treasured its close cooperation with the Human Rights Council, as it was convinced of the importance of the Universal Periodic Review and other United Nations bodies. It was a platform that allowed for match making when it came to technical assistance. The choice of democracy in Tunisia stemmed from the Tunisian people, who had succeeded in launching the process, calling for a country where the rule of law prevailed, and democracy was being achieved at an unprecedented speed. Tunisia reaffirmed its full respect for human rights, and was determined to continue to move forward.
The Council has before it the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Morocco
Morocco said that despite the challenges of a difficult regional and global context, Morocco remained resilient and determined to consolidate its democratic and developmental model. Morocco had adopted a transitional justice mechanism and provided the conditions for a successful process that resulted in the settlement of past human rights violations and the establishment of guarantees of non-recurrence. It then spared no effort to anchor human rights as a cross-cutting dimension of public policies and programmes. The modern Constitution promoted political pluralism. Morocco had paid special attention to examining the 306 recommendations received, and had accepted 232 recommendations, which were being implemented through inclusion in public policies, strategies and programmes.
Morocco had taken note of 37 recommendations that were partially accepted in principle and purpose, and which related to issues undergoing national debate, such as accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as well as matters related to the death penalty. The Kingdom of Morocco had taken note of 32 recommendations, which it considered as completely rejected. Morocco did not accept five recommendations related to its territorial integrity within the context of the artificial regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, which were unrelated to the mandate of the Human Rights Council, and they were not in line with the foundations and basic principles of the Universal Periodic Review. Morocco was aware that some parties continued to use the mechanism as a lever to express their hostility to the territorial integrity of Morocco and its democratic and development model.
National Human Rights Institute of Morocco encouraged the Government to reconsider its position with regard to certain partially or totally rejected recommendations, in particular on accession to the Optional Protocol on the abolition of the death penalty, and the abolition of the death penalty in law and practice; and ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, among others.
Some speakers commended Morocco for accepting 232 recommendations. Morocco was encouraged to take the necessary steps that would also allow the acceptance of recommendations partially noted, including to enhance cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights through urgently facilitating access to the Office to visit the Western Sahara region and visit Western Saharawi prisoners. The efforts made to advance human rights and gender equality were noted, including the adoption of women’s economic empowerment as a national priority. Reducing gender inequalities and stereotypes and discrimination remained a priority. Speakers welcomed Morocco’s will to cooperate with human rights mechanisms and to implement the recommendations.
The creation of national human rights mechanisms, including on child protection and persons with disabilities, was appreciated by speakers: the progress was visible in the report. The positive interaction of Morocco on the many recommendations on the legal framework was appreciated, in particular with regard to the reform of the Penal Code and of the Family Code. However, more progress should be made on these reforms. That sexual education was included in the school curriculum was a positive step. Some speakers said the improper use of force by law officials in peaceful protests required addressing: Morocco needed to implement its obligations arising from international human rights, and make positive steps forward, including through recognising international law. The efforts to improve and develop the situation as a whole to serve the interests of the Moroccan people were noted, and the country should continue to go along that path.
The Vice-President said out of the 306 recommendations received, 232 enjoyed the support of Morocco, and 74 were noted.
Morocco thanked all who had participated in the dialogue, and said the interaction had been positive. Morocco had accepted the majority of recommendations and now needed to move towards the implementation stage. Implementation would concern all actors on the ground at the national level. Morocco had taken ownership of a human rights culture and was a pioneer of the Universal Periodic Review since its creation. The State was convinced of the relevance of the Universal Periodic Review and its role when it came to promoting and protecting human rights. Morocco would implement all the recommendations submitted by States, and the dialogue remained open on other important recommendations.
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