ABIDJAN / GENEVA (7 June 2017) – The United Nations Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Côte d’Ivoire, Mohammed Ayat, will undertake his sixth and final visit in the country from 12 to 16 June 2017.
“This visit will be an opportunity to make a concluding assessment of the progress made in terms of building the democratic space, strengthening the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, that will take into account the commitments made by the national authorities since the cabinet reshuffle of January 2017,” he said.
“The mission, which is taking place in the context of the end of the human rights division of UNOCI, will allow for consultations with the Ivorian national authorities and in particular the National Commission for Human Rights of Côte d’Ivoire on their commitments and actions carried out within the framework of the protection and promotion of human rights,” Mr. Ayat added.
Meetings with civil society organizations will also provide an opportunity to take stock of progresses and challenges related to the situation of economic, social and cultural rights that are inseparable from civil and political rights.
“I also intend to conduct a final assessment of the recommendations contained in my previous public reports to the Human Rights Council, particularly on institutional reforms, the fight against impunity and the preservation of democratic space,” he said.
During his visit, the Independent Expert will meet with members of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, representatives of non-governmental organizations and victims’ associations. He will also meet with representatives of the diplomatic corps and the UN country team in Côte d’Ivoire. He will also visit the Abidjan prison.
A press release gathering preliminary observations made by the independent expert will follow the end of his visit. The information collected during his mission will support the latest report of the independent expert to be presented at the thirty-fifth session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, on 20 June 2017.
Mr. Mohammed Ayat (Morocco) was designated as the Independent Expert on capacity building and technical cooperation for Côte d’Ivoire in the field of human rights by the UN Human Rights Council. He took over his mandate on December 2014.
The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.