Posts Tagged ‘cooperation with UN’

Sri Lanka and the UN Human Rights Council: a Tale of Two Stories

March 18, 2019

One at the political level: On 17 March it was reported that a Sri Lankan parliamentarian – who will be a member of a delegation to be sent to the UN Human Rights Council next week – has slammed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights report on his island, calling it “an atrocious piece of writing containing lies, half lies and highly contestable statements”. Sarath Amunugama, a senior former minister said the Sri Lankan delegation would be meeting with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to take up their complaints in person.

The report, released last week, said Sri Lanka had made “virtually no progress” on the investigation of war crimes, and also raised several other issues, including concerns over on-going reports of abduction, torture and sexual violence, institutional failures within the criminal justice system, ongoing harassment of human rights defenders since 2015 and the military’s continued occupation of civilian land. Amunugama though claimed the report was “methodologically incorrect” and contained “totally unwarranted statements”.

His comments come after less than a day after Sri Lanka’s ministry of foreign affairs agreed to the co-sponsoring of a roll-over UN resolution, the president Maithripala Sirisena said he wanted it stopped.  Sirisena also said that the delegation he would be sending to Geneva would argue that Sri Lanka should be allowed to ‘solve its own problems’.

—–

And the other more ‘scientific’, fact-based approach of Verité Research which is engaged in a four-part series on government progress in fulfilling commitments in Resolution 30/1.

UN Human Rights Council – How do the candidates for the 2017 elections rate?

September 13, 2016

The UN Human Rights Council – now in its 33rd session – has quite a few States on it that shouldn’t be there because of their own deplorable human rights record. In order to help influence the election process a number of procedures have been developed such as public pledges by the candidate States. NGOs, such as AI and the ISHR, have even organized public debates to which these States are invited [see: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/some-states-have-the-courage-to-set-out-their-commitments-as-members-of-the-human-rights-council/]

The ISHR has now published ‘scorecards’ for each of the States seeking election to the UN Human Rights Council for 2017-2019. Read the rest of this entry »

72 UN Rapporteurs issue exceptional joint statement calling for more cooperation and less reprisals

December 13, 2013

On the occasion of Human Rights Day, 10 December 2013, the largest ever body of independent experts in the United Nations Human Rights system urged Governments to coöperate with them, and allow human rights organisations and individuals to engage with the UN “without fear of intimidation or reprisals.” The appeal by the 72 special procedures experts stated that: “Over the years more than 160 UN member States have been visited by at least one of our human rights experts, and a total of 106 States have extended an open invitation to special procedures,”  Around 30 States have not yet accepted a visit by any of our experts while others have given only selective access.  “Unfortunately, it has become a reality that a standing invitation cannot necessarily guarantee that a visit will actually take place.” Mr. Chaloka Beyani said on behalf the group. “The work we do relies heavily on our interaction with civil society, national human rights institutions, human rights defenders, other individuals working on the ground and victims of human rights violations,” the expert explained. “It is of utmost concern that some of these become victims of intimidation and reprisals. The protection of these vital partners is of utmost importance,” he said, calling on world Governments “to respond firmly against any act which threatens them and seeks to obstruct human rights work.Reprisals are a critical challenge facing the UN system and its human rights mechanisms. “We call for the designation of a focal point on the issue of intimidation and reprisals as soon as possible,

[The United Nations human rights experts are part of what it is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures is the general name of the independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms of the Human Rights Council that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are charged by the Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise on human rights issues. Currently, there are 37 thematic mandates and 14 mandates related to countries and territories, with 72 mandate holders. In March 2014, three new mandates will be added.]

via DisplayNews.

 

Assessing Needs of Human Rights Defenders and Strategies for Collaboration: results of a workshop

June 20, 2013

As far back as October 2012 in Lima, Peru, during the 7th Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED – U.S.A) organised a workshop on one of my favorite topics: how the existing efforts for and among human rights defenders (HRDs) could more effectively meet the needs of endangered human rights defenders (HRDs) Read the rest of this entry »

Bahrain refuses – again – UN Rapporteur on Torture

April 26, 2013

Bahrain’s state news agency reported earlier this week that Juan Méndez, the UNs special rapporteur for torture, had “put off his visit” scheduled for early May following a letter from Salah bin Ali Abdulrahman, Bahrain’s human rights affairs minister. The letter outlined “reasons for the request to postpone the visit”, the agency said. However, Mr Méndez said on Wednesday 24 April (according to the National) that there was no choice in the matter, calling the refusal to play host to his visit “a unilateral decision by the [Bahraini] authorities“. “This is the second time that my visit has been postponed, at very short notice. It is effectively a cancellation, as no alternative dates were proposed, nor is there a future road map to discuss“.

So much for the much-touted Government-commissioned report of 2011 in which the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry found evidence of torture committed by the country’s security forces during a pro-reform uprising and the subsequent Government’s promise to coöperate with the UN to address the issues. Refusal to coöperate may pay again!

via Bahrain shuts out UN torture probe – The National.