New York

05 June 2013

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Egypt

The Secretary-General continues to follow the transition process in Egypt.  He stresses the critical importance of the rights to freedom of association and expression to the democratic process in the country and calls for dedicated efforts to secure their full enjoyment.

The Secretary-General recalls the concerns expressed by Ms. Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, over the draft law on association in a press statement on 8 May.  He believes that any new draft law on associations should conform to international human rights standards, and respond to the aspirations of the people.

The Secretary-General is concerned that the conviction and sentencing of a number of local and foreign employees of international NGOs is a sign of an increasingly restrictive environment for civil society in the country.

The Secretary-General reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations to work alongside the Government and the people of Egypt in support of the country’s democratic transition, development and prosperity.