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HRC38: Oral Statement during the General Debate on the oral update of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

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38th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 2: General Debate on the oral update of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 

Oral Statement Delivered by Rosanna Ocampo on behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Monday, 19 June 2018

Mr. President, we thank High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein for his term as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The active and outspoken role he played has helped shine a light on several human rights situations and reassured victims and human rights defenders in Asia and beyond. We hope that the bold resoluteness exhibited by him, in the midst of one of the most difficult times for human rights, will remain an inspiration for his successor – who will likely face more testing times for human rights.

We echo concerns expressed by the High Commissioner on a number of Asian countries. On Burma/Myanmar we are concerned by widespread and systematic attacks on Rohingyas that involves allegations of the gravest international crimes, including genocide. We are further deeply concerned by the escalation of conflict in Kachin and Northern Shan States and by reports of grave violations of humanitarian and human rights law emanating from these regions. We emphasise on the need for the international community to hold perpetrators of grave violations accountable in order to stop the vicious circle of violations that plague Burma/Myanmar.

We call on both India and Pakistan to fully cooperate with the High Commissioner’s calls for a Commission of Inquiry on the human rights situation in both sides of the line of control in Kashmir.

We endorse calls for Indonesia and Bangladesh to grant meaningful access. While we agree with the High Commissioner on the importance of access to human rights mechanisms, in parallel we emphasise that states should also make genuine efforts to implement resulting recommendations. For example, while it’s notable that Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have been recognised in the update for increased engagement with Special Procedures and Treaty bodies respectively, little has been done in terms of genuine implementation of recommendations and commitments in these countries.

Thank you


For a PDF version of this statement, click here.