Consideration on the UPR of Jordan
Mr. M. FALEH S. HYASSAT
First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Jordan to the UN Office at Geneva
With regards to the issue of discrimination against women and honour crimes there has been an amendment of its penal code to strengthen the minimum sanctions on this crime to see whether it is possible to cancel the death penalty.
NGOS work through special units to provide guidance and counselling services to families to further the status of women.
The government has established special units for the protection of women and families, and to enhance gender equality between men and women.
The Jordanian Government has amended the penal code to make it compatible with the Convention against torture, sanctioning any employee that tries to extract confessions. It has issued guidebooks and provided training to register and monitor acts of torture.
A Code of Conduct is being drawn up to be followed by government officials.
Rehabilitation programs are being established, and it assures that that all detainees are treated well and their rights respected, and those that are not a threat to society are released when possible.
Jordan also provides the example of its Crime prevention act, a law which is applied to three categories of people depending on what level of danger they are to society.
With regards to the recommendation on religion there are no state sanctions on those that change their religion, and Jordan asserts that any problems regarding this stem from the culture of the society.
Recommendation 14 on establishment on independent electoral commission is being reviewed by the government.
Finally, the recommendation applicable to crimes of terrorism is supported by a law on terrorism. It states that such crimes are the outcome of the financing of terrorist groups.
United Arab Emirates commends Jordans efforts to implement national policies such as the promotion of the rights of the Child, and also pay tribute to Jordans efforts with social, economic and cultural rights and its efforts to guarantee its promotion of fundamental rights and freedoms.
Algeria states that it expresses gratitude and welcome to delegation of Jordan which has favourably responded to UPR recommendations. It commends Jordan’s attempts to promote the rights of peoples with disabilities and calls upon Jordan to share its best practices regarding this. Fruitful cooperation with international human rights mechanism has taken place and it should take advantage of international assistance where possible.
Qatar hopes that the recommendations will further improve the human rights judicial guarantees that are incorporate din the countries legal arsenal to ensure international human rights standards. Qatar commends it for its efforts to realise its human rights in a difficult economic environment.
Bahrain also values Jordanian efforts with regards to the rights of the child, and its dissemination of its human rights agenda.
Saudi Arabia commends Jordans efforts concerning the right to education.
China states that Jordan has established a relatively developed framework of human rights, and that as a result poverty has decreased and health care is better developed.
Palestine also commends its efforts with regards to the rights of child and women.
Morocco acknowledges Jordan’s efforts in accepting recommendations made by Morocco to use UPR process to take up challenges to adopt covenants and integrate them into national laws.
Indonesia also commends its national strategy plan to protect people with disabilities etc.
HRW: Raises points relating to instances of torture and violent threats in Jordan and calls for the appropriate measure to be taken with regards to this.
Cairo institute for human rights studies: Asserts that the perpetrators of honour crimes, must be brought to justice and therefore the penal code must be amended.
It also suggests that Jordan revise its law on societies to enhance freedom of association
Egypt ( African Group) highlights the attempt to divert attention from some areas to others within the UPR. Delay in translation of many reports.
Czech Republic (EU) Also highlights need to translate all documents. It commends civil society and raises concerns that with regards to civil society the list of speakers was manipulated, and stresses that and time management must not have an adverse effect on NGOS.
Bahrain is attempting to shift from a rentier economy to a trade economy, Vision 23 30, and in doing so has engaged in the assistance to the population in establishing various trade related
Brazil states that the UPR process has been extremely important in the human rights agenda. It stresses that the correct implementation of the UPR procedures has been problematic especially with regards to NGO involvement. (alluding to the inability of some NGOS to speak due to time constraints)
Russian Federation states that the previously mentioned shortcomings (regarding list of speakers and NGO participation) are only technical and do not need the urgent attention of the Council. This civil society issue is not of great concern. What is of great concern is the lack of adequately translated documents on the working group of the UPR. Also important to stick to rules of procedure, with regards to decision to reflect and accept reports which were not spoken on the meeting floor, therefore these reports should not have been accepted.
Cuba also raises the manipulation of the UPR process, especially with regards to the Geneva based NGOs, to the detriment of national NGOS. Basically it asserts that national NGOs are in the best position to provide insight to the issues raised.
Germany aligns itself with EU statement. It proposes the question of what the aim of the UPR is in contrast to the aim of other treaty bodies and special procedures. The UPR should be used to obtain an overview of each country and its human rights standards. It should be descriptive not prescriptive.
UK also highlights the above remarks concerning the translation of all documents. It also emphasises that it is in the process of implementing all recommendations put to it.
Switzerland asks for the distribution of time to be better respected in the future. It is not in the responsibilities if states to decide what is an informed opinion and what is not with regards to NGOS. Its recommendations have been in the process of being implemented. For example it has made attempts to include civil society, and has made equality of genders a primary issue, as well as having ratified the protocol on torture.
Pakistan (OHC) attaches great importance to UPR, stating that there is a need to maintain its universal character. It asserts that when recommendations are made there is a tendency to align laws with regional organizations. Pakistan thinks this is counterproductive.
It also raises the need to address the issue of translation.
The issue of list of speakers is of great concern, and it shows the interests which clash with the given time limits. There is therefore a necessity to find a transparent and universal solution to this issue.
The new phenomenon of ‘exceptions’ needs to be addressed as well, all these practices need to considered to make the system universal and fair.
China is of the view that the mechanism of the UPR has been operating smoothly, and that it must remain apolitical in all instances.
Australia also states that the role of civil society has an important place in the UPR process.
United Arab Emirates raises the implementation of legislation that ensures the human rights of migrants to the country. A large number of personnel have been trained to deal with such human rights issues by the ILO.
Chad deplores the way in which the list of speakers is manipulated. One of the documents in the UPR states that the signing of the speakers begins 15 minutes before the meeting.
Armenia also disagrees with the previous point and states that it undermines the universality of the process.
Arab Commission for Human Rights also advises that the Report of the UPR should not be adopted unless all speakers have provided their statements.
International service for human rights
This organisation is worried about lack of respect and implementation of the institute building texts. New contraventions of this text, with regards to the list of speakers and the time allotted to NGOs which deviates from standard practice.
A balance must be struck between the state under review and the input of all stakeholders. This NGO asserts that there has been an attempt to manipulate the NGO speaking processes. In addition, poor time management has resulted in the some of the NGOs did not have the chance to speak.
Secretariat responds to the issues raised concerning procedure regarding NGO participation, and states that when queues developed the Secretariat took note of who arrived first.
Right of Reply:
Sri Lanka states that the UN Watch intervention denigrates the UPR process. Urges need to incorporate accountability and transparency with regards to NGO participation, as to where they receive their funding, who they support etc.