UPR – Bangladesh, Russian Federation, Cameroon, Cuba & Saudi Arabia
· raises the point of the manipulation of the NGO process, this is an issue of transparency with reference to Tuesday June 9th when many NGOs were unable register to speak due to other groups having gained access to the building in advance.
Secretariat states that this was only preregistration, and that while the system is creating difficulties and has explained this in note verbals. List of speakers for NGOs: occurrences of Tuesday 9th June were unusual and coordination was amiss, meaning that NGO delegates could enter UN.
President’s personal view is that statements that were missed will be integrated into the report of the meeting. NGOs were only given ten minutes rather than twenty minutes, therefore their reports will be included today due to time constraints yesterday.
· Accepts and sympathises with Presidents statement however highlights that this can create a precedent. UPR process is full of exceptions.
· There is a procedural problem because the country cannot reply to the statement of the NGOs concerned.
· Fully supports the Presidents statement with including the NGO statements in the report.
· Government takes civil society actors as key to the success of the UPR and therefore the three NGOs statement which were missed due to time constraints should be added to the report today.
Consideration of the UPR outcome on Bangladesh
Bangladesh Mr. Mustafizur Rahman
· With references to the deficits that delegates mentioned, and recommendations made some have already been implemented, whilst others are more difficult to do so. Human rights challenges that Bangladesh faces are due to poverty, therefore the eradication of poverty will result in the respect of human rights. This can be done through government programs such as micro-credits.
· The country in question is doing its utmost to respect human rights principles. They appreciate the information on the first steps taken to uphold the recommendations taken.
· Government of Bangladesh is clearly committed to the implementation of strategies to reduce poverty
· Take a positive view of programs to deal with impoverished groups especially with women. It is genuinely involved in the promotion of human rights in accordance with the UPR processes
Also states that the countries compliance with recommendations is commendable, especially with reference to education
Bangladesh has accepted most of the recommendations made, and has reaffirmed the governments will to protect and enhance human rights. The government is able to show positive results and is protecting the rights of women and the right to education.
Human rights: it is shown by the programs to combat hunger and poverty, and food housing, education and health care. It urges the government to continue its efforts and reiterates its solidarity with the governments and people.
Also reiterates support for Bangladesh especially with reference to women and education as well as hunger.
Also reiterates the fruitfulness of its dialogue with member states regarding the implementations it has accepted.
Also commends the efforts of Bangladesh in combating poverty, and its attempts as enhancing economic standards and achieving the MDGs
Empowering women who can contribute positively to the development of the country
Calls on international community to assist Bangladesh’s approach to dealing with poverty
Also commends its attempts to adhere to the international standards concerning the death penalty
Countries attempts require the international communities assistance in achieving the levels of development and respect for human rights that its states in its report
Also commends the government’s attempts to fulfil recommendations especially with reference to the protection of the rights of the child. In addition also commends the attempts of Bangladesh with regards to disabled persons.
Notes progress made in the field of educations especially with regards to women, and the protection of women and the girl chid.
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development
Welcomes recent decision to establish war tribunals and raises the case of extrajudicial killings which continue, amongst other issues. Also has not seen much progress with regards to war crimes, torture etc, as well as reparations to the families of those concerned
Draws attention to the need for special training for law community, would like to include transgender community. Special gender and minority cell, within a safety net packages. Particular vulnerabilities of these communities, and the inclusion of these in the decision making processes.
International human rights association of American minorities
Corruption still prevalent as well as inequalities regarding men and women. Child labour is still commonplace etc.
UPR is an intergovernmental process but civil society does have an impact, with regard to national NGOs. Council should facilitate the consideration of mainstream national NGOs.
It acknowledges that there is room for improvement, but government is making sincere attempts to achieve realistic levels of human rights.
There is an educative and institutional framework to deal with human rights violations.
UPR on Bangladesh. Adopted
Consideration on the outcome of the UPR of Russian Federation
H.E. Mr. Gregory Matyushkin , Deputy Prime minister of the Russian Federation:
Government is able to fully implement and approve 70 percent of the recommendations and can express partial agreement of the remaining recommendations. For example within the context of the global crisis, the Russian Federation will strive to increase the level of the social security.
It intends to in a gradual way extend its obligations. For example hope to ratify legislation on the rights of disabled children- integrated or inclusive education system.
Russia continues to accept and host the special procedures of the UN.
Level of congestion of prisons need to be alleviated to achieve international standards concerning custody and health access for prisoners. Also focusing on human rights defenders and journalists.
Will continue to focus on equalities for state parties etc.
Commends Russia in its attempts to adhere to recommendations. Focuses on the successful attempts concerning immunisation campaigns.
Also focuses on detainees and the rights of disabled children.
Also commends social security etc.
Indian Council of South America
Calls on Russian federation to improve the position of indigenous peoples, and on the declaration rights of indigenous people
It is possible to see a recent increase in violence and an increase in xenophobia and neo-Nazi sentiment as well as the targeting of Jews, African, minorities , the Roma, Chechnya etc. calls on Russia to respect the human rights of these groups in accordance with international standards and commitments.
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Highlights the violations of the rights of those in the lesbian, gay and transgender communities. Hate crimes: discrimination on those of these communities must be vigorously prosecuted.
Highlights the issues of Chechnya, and granting of access to special Rapporteur on torture and ten special procedures are pending. Russia should honour these requests.
International work group for international affairs
Minorities from Siberian north of Russia: CERT committee urges Russia to implement plans which would result in the displacement of thousands from the area.
International commission of jurists
Provision for effective investigation and redress for violations of human rights. Serious concern is the harassment of lawyers and journalists. Regular threats to applicants to the European Court of Human Rights.
Mr. Gregory Matyushkin
Concerning the abolishment of the death penalty will depend on the prevailing view of it within the society. De facto since 1996 they have stopped executing the death penalty and in 1999 all those previously sentenced to death were imprisoned for life instead.
Ratifying the UN convention on the rights of migrant workers requires in depth study to see whether it is possible in light of the Russian legal system.
Consideration on the outcome of the UPR of Cameroon
S.E. M. Joseph Dion NGUTE :
Wishes to reaffirm his countries commitment to interests of human rights through the implementation of the new roadmap. Accepted forty recommendations and rejected four and continue examination of two others. In total of forty one recommendations received Aids, deportation, and optional protocol on torture.
Decriminalisation of homosexuality; criminalisation of sexuality is not contrary to the UNDHR or international covenant on civil and political rights. It is not denied to enjoy rights or benefits due to sexual orientation. It is against the understanding of morality of Cameroon, and it is acceptable to curtail rights that go against the morality of a state and its society. The government does ensure that the rights of all citizens are protected.
Elections: democratic process is made more fair and transparent through Elecam.
Cameroons commitment to human rights is evident in the optional protocols in the rights of the child to protect children from violence or trafficking.
Also evident in the rights of migrant workers
To continue its efforts in places of detention also highlights this willingness to promote and protect human rights. Reiterates its comment to the international community to provide technical assistance
Cameroon has provided a candid account of its human rights challenges.
With regards to the reform of the criminal code, all assistance must be given to it both financial and human resources to aid Cameroon in this task to guarantee the best possible outcome.
Commend its neighbour on its efforts on the adoption of the Report, and its recommendations such as investments in prison infrastructure and the assertion of the human rights of its people.
Supports the recommendation to ensure Elecams independence, and independence of the press.
International covenant on civil and political rights, abolishment of the imprisonment of journalists
Land rights of pygmy communities
Repressive issues concerning HIV victims; criminalisation of homosexuality results in discrimination of individuals.
Still many problems concerning the rights of the child, recommendations concerning this issue touch upon trafficking, child labour, rape and handicap amongst others. The recommendations made under the UPR offer the opportunity to assess the programs already in place.
With regards to education there is still a gender gap and a lack of resources for educational purposes. Adoption of the protocol on disabled persons should be adopted.
International federation of ACAT
There is a necessity to eradicate corruption for example in the prison system. Cases of torture are also raised, these must be addressed.
Country is in a process of reform within the areas mentioned particularly in terms of the judiciary. Confident that it shall meet its obligations and policy ends, promotion and protection of human rights is an integral part of its developmental process.
Consideration of the UPR outcomes of Cuba
H.E. Mr. Juan Antonio Fernandez Palacios, Permanent Ambassador of Cuba to the UN office in Geneva
Cuba in its national capacity and as president of the non-aligned movement, undertook UPR to interact open and transparently with all states and confirm the usefulness of the process. Results of the UPR are a victory for the Cuban people. In the context of the UPR there was a clear reaffirmation in condemning the blockade by the USA on Cuba which is a serious obstacle for the full achievement of human rights. The resistance of the people and efforts of the government were recognized. Objected to a few recommendations due to incompatibility with the right to self determination and some showed an inexplicable lack of knowledge of Cuban reality. In the midst of the difficult situation in Cuba due to the blockade and the global crisis it continues the development into a just and equal society.
It has continued strengthening of health access, education, women’s rights, literacy programs, and children’s rights, thus continuing to work in accordance with human rights.
Cuba is still constrained by the blockade which has afflicted the national priorities, but it does cooperate with NGOS as well as claims made by people with regards to human rights.
Addressed the lack of administrative issues such as translation of all documents into various languages
Has made some recommendations concerning health services.
Cuba continues to uphold principles of impartiality etc.
The UPR has made it possible to highlight Cuba’s efforts, and supports it in promoting and protecting human rights on its territory despite of the many difficulties. Proof of this is the success of the UPR.
Commend the human and social development of the Cuban government and its role in NAM.
Also commends Cuba for its efforts at ensuring the protection and promotion of human rights.
Despite the constraints that it is under, Cuban doctors and individuals are instrumental in health issues across the world.
Reiterates that the blockade must be brought to an end and that this is the primary obstacle the full enjoyment of human rights.
Cuban achievement in the area of ensuring gender equality and the rights of women and children, religious rights and social and economic rights is commendable.
It should be stressed that the sanctions against Cuba continue constrain it. It has played an important role as president of NAM, which has made useful interventions within the Council.
Cuba has responded positively to the many recommendations made by states including Belarus. Its approach is an indicator of its wish to protect and promote human rights.
Also highlights the conditions that Cuba is affected by as a result of the US sanctions. Its contribution is not limited to collective rights.
Also refers to foreign embargo lasting over forty years etc. it has made important contributions to the international human rights cause.
Cuban assistance to Africa in terms of health shows its solidarity and commitment to international cooperation. Best illustrated by huge number of recommendations accepted by Cuba during the process.
UPR on CUBA – NGOs
World Federation of Trade Unions
Congratulates the government of Cuba for succeeding in providing a considerable level of social, economic, cultural, civil and political rights. It highlights that Cuba has also been instrumental in positively affecting other areas of the world.
There are hundreds of prisoners of political conscience in Cuba and there is no care for them within the prisoners and suffer from severe illness once they are incarcerated.
Public freedoms are not recognized in Cuba, highlights 21 deaths in Cuban prisons for example. There has been suppression and torture of Cubans amongst other constraints upon the freedom of expression.
Human Rights Watch
Concern with UPR with regards to the independence of judges which are under the power of the National Assembly. High number of political prisoners in Cuban prisons, including journalists and human rights defenders. There is repression of dissidents.
HRW asks for the repeal of any laws restricting political freedoms and the end of arbitrary detentions.
Mr. Juan Antonia Fernandez Palacios final remarks:
It is the beginning of a new stage with the follow up of the UPR and implementation of the recommendations. Cuba reiterates its commitment to working in cooperation with the Council and the UPR outcomes, and the promotion of all human rights.
Consideration of the UPR outcomes of Saudi Arabia
Accepts the majority of recommendations, with the exception of its accession the the International Criminal Court. With regards to violence it is endeavouring to create a framework to register violence against women and children.
Rights of expatriate workers are provided with urgent assistance. The state has provided an appropriate environment for them and greatly improved their living conditions.
Studies on the situation of women, extremist rehabilitation and other issues concerning human rights have been conducted. Social and cultural circumstances must be taken into account.
Venezuela, Qatar, Algeria, Cuba, Belarus, China, Egypt, UAE, etc all support the attempts by Saudi Arabia to promote and protect human rights.
Welcome the efforts made by Saudi Arabia especially with regards to women, terrorism amongst others.
It congratulates Saudi Arabia to establish a favourable environment for migrant workers.
Urges Saudi Arabia to ratify international instruments which it is not yet part of, especially with regards to women who are still seen as second class citizens., situation of religious freedoms with regards to Shia minority is of great concern, therefore the Cairo Institute calls on the Kingdom to ensure freedom of movement and expression. Also calls for the end of human rights abuses such as flogging, which is in contravention to international agreements on torture.
Rejection of recommendations concerning death penalty of minors is of great concern to Amnesty International. States should have engaged Saudi Arabia more strongly with regards to human rights abuses.
It and calls on the government to end all detention of political prisoners and the end of constraints on the freedom of expression and assembly.
Arab Commission of Human Rights
Commends the Kingdoms UPR. Stresses the importance of adhering to the recommendations. Raises the issue of acceding to the international protocol on the prohibition of torture.
Also welcomes recommendation number 23 regarding minors, and expresses concern at claims about the death penalty and requests that the country respects all recommendations concerning this issue.
Calls upon the kingdom to send a special invitation for the Special Rapporteurs concerning human rights.
International Commission of Jurists
Given numerous credible reports concerning human rights reports the ICJ calls upon the Kingdom to respect and adhere to the recommendations within the report. Saudi government must reform its laws to ensure the human rights of its population.
The government should also incorporate the equality of genders within the law and society. Abolishing the partriarchical system must be a priority.
It should accede to the ICCPR and other human rights instrument, and to abolish the death penalty.
H.E. Mr. Zaid Bin Abdul Muhsin Al- Husain:
It has explained the situation in its country with regards to Sharia law and migrant workers. One of the important aspects for the country is the death penalty, which is only applied to the most odious of cases, and has been reviewed by thirteen judges.