UN human rights chief begins visit to Gulf countries

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

17 April 2010 – The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today embarks on a 10-day visit to the six Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in an effort to engage more actively and effectively with governments and civil society in the region.

Ms. Pillay will seek to gain first-hand understanding of current dynamics in the GCC region in relation to human rights, including reported progress in some areas as well as specific issues of particular concern.

She will also examine ways in which her office can provide further support and advice to the individual GCC countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Ms. Pillay visited Qatar in May last year to open the UN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre, but this month's trip marks the first time that a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will be visiting Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates or Oman.

The High Commissioner is expected to meet with heads of State, senior ministers and other Government officials, and members of civil society during her visit.

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