|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITIES SERIOUSLY,
STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF CONSIDERING ALL VIOLATIONS EQUALLY
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General notes that the Human Rights Council has now completed the first phase of its institution-building work. The members of the Human Rights Council were charged with a great responsibility during this session.
The Secretary-General notes that the members of the Council worked hard to reach consensus on a number of issues.
The establishment of the modalities for a strong and meaningful Universal Periodic Review is to be welcomed. It sends a clear message that all countries will have their human rights record and performance examined at regular intervals, starting with members of the Human Rights Council. No country, big or small, will be immune from scrutiny. Civil society and non-governmental organizations will need to play an active part in this process.
The periodic review holds great promise for opening a new chapter in human rights promotion and underscores the universality of human rights.
The Secretary-General is disappointed at the Council’s decision to single out only one specific regional item, given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world.
As regards the removal of mandates relating to two Member States, he wishes to emphasize the need to consider all situations of possible human rights violations equally and he notes that not having a Special Rapporteur assigned to a particular country does not absolve that country from its obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and every other human rights treaty.
The Secretary-General trusts that members of the Council will take seriously their responsibilities and continue to seek out ways to improve the Council’s work in the months and years ahead.
The pursuit of human rights for every citizen of the world lies at the heart of the mission of the United Nations.
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