The Human Rights Council, in a midday meeting today, adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Namibia, Niger and Mozambique.
At the beginning of the meeting, Monique T.G. Van Daalen, Vice-President of the Council, recalled that the Council had agreed at the opening of the forty-eighth session on 13 September 2021 to postpone again the consideration of the report of the Universal Periodic Review of Myanmar to its eighty-ninth session.
Speaking on the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Namibia were Philippines, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Population Fund, Venezuela and Viet Nam.
The following civil society organizations also took the floor on the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Namibia: International Lesbian and Gay Association, International Service for Human Rights, United Nations Watch, Lutheran World Federation, and Centre du Commerce International pour le Développement.
Speaking on the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Niger were Mauritania, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Togo.
The following civil society organizations also took the floor on the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Niger: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, International Service for Human Rights, Advocates for Human Rights, Centre for Global Non-killing, Meezaan Centre for Human Rights, CIVICUS, Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme, SOS Kinderdorf International, and Centre du Commerce International pour le Développement.
Speaking on the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Mozambique were Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Portugal, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Togo and Tunisia.
The following civil society organizations also took the floor on the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Mozambique: Stichting CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, International Lesbian and Gay Association, International Service for Human Rights, Action Canada for Population and Development, World Vision International, Lutheran World Federation, International Volunteerism Organization for Women, Education and Development, Human Rights Watch, and CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation.
The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here. All meeting summaries can be found here. Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council’s forty-eighth regular session can be found here.
The Human Rights Council will next consider the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Estonia, Belgium, Paraguay and, time permitting, Denmark.
Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Namibia
Presentation by Namibia
YVONNE DAUSAB, Minister of Justice of Namibia, said Namibia had received 283 recommendations during the thirty-eighth session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group in May 2021. After careful consideration, 229 recommendations had been accepted and 54 recommendations had been noted because they required extensive consultation to effect constitutional, policy or legislative reforms. There were escalating cases of violence against women and children, including domestic violence, gender-based and sexual violence, and Namibia was implementing the Prioritised National Plan of Action on Gender Based Violence.
In the discussion, speakers welcomed that Namibia had accepted recommendations concerning inclusive education policy measures, particularly for children with disabilities. Reinforced migration management efforts that the Government had undertaken were welcomed, including efforts concerning anti-trafficking. Namibia had also accepted recommendations on justice system reform. For a such a young country, it was commendable that Namibia had developed a fine-tuned mechanism for civil society. Namibia had established mechanisms for monitoring the state of the rule of law. Efforts undertaken to address gender-based violence were praised, including a designated National Action Plan. Speakers said that the outcome should be adopted by consensus. One speaker said that it was regrettable that the rights of lesbian and gay communities continued to be routinely violated and that provisions criminalising sodomy were still in force.
The Vice-President of the Council informed that out of 283 recommendations received, 229 enjoyed the support of Namibia, while 54 had been noted.
YVONNE DAUSAB, Minister of Justice of Namibia, noted that the recommendations were indeed valuable. The various issues raised through the recommendations would receive due consideration through the necessary policy, legal and institutional reforms with a robust implementation plan as enunciated in the Harambee Prosperity Plans and National Development Plans.
The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Namibia.
Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Niger
Presentation by Niger
BOUBAKAR HASSAN, Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals of Niger, said that since the launch of the Universal Periodic Review in 2006, Niger had shown constant commitment, despite the adverse security situation. During this third examination, Niger had received 254 recommendations from 95 States, of which 248 were accepted and 6 were noted. An Action Plan 2022-2026 would be developed by the Interministerial Committee to implement recommendations.
National Human Rights Commission of Niger said that some issues remained, such as slavery-like practices, legal backlogs and the fact that justice was very slow. Niger was encouraged to be more vigorous in pursuit of its efforts to implement the recommendations. The Commission welcomed that certain conventions were incorporated in national legislation; such was the case concerning internal displacement. The Government was urged to step up its efforts to combat corruption.
In the discussion, speakers welcome the intention of Niger to advance legislation that would improve social services, basic social care, rights to education and health, as well as improving living standards. The constructive interaction of Namibia with the Universal Periodic Review was appreciated. Speakers welcomed that Niger had accepted to accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming to abolish the death penalty. The Government had to consolidate its efforts when it came to the humanitarian and security situation. Some speakers said that the education rate of girls could not be improved while child marriage was allowed as Niger continued to have the highest rate of child marriage in the world.
The Vice-President of the Council informed that out of 254 recommendations received, 248 enjoyed the support of Niger, while 6 had been noted.
BOUBAKAR HASSAN, Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals of Niger, stressed that it was up to Niger’s Government, Parliament, National Human Rights Commission, Civil Society Organizations and Technical and Financial Partners, to combine their efforts and maintain a permanent dialogue for the implementation of the accepted recommendations.
Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of Mozambique
Presentation by Mozambique
HELENA MATEUS KIDA, Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs of Mozambique, said that out of 266 recommendations received, the Government of Mozambique had accepted 236 recommendations and noted 30. The recommendations focused on international obligations, non-discrimination, the national structure of human rights, the right to life, liberty and security of persons, justice and fundamental freedoms, and the right to participate in political life.
Speakers were pleased to note that Mozambique had accepted most of the recommendations made. They hoped that the recommendations accepted by Mozambique during the Universal Periodic Review would be duly implemented. Speakers encouraged Mozambique to continue its efforts in the area of human rights development, the fight against poverty, and the consolidation of democracy. Concerns were expressed about the steadily growing number of temporarily displaced persons in the northern province of Cabo Delgado due to periodic terrorist attacks by militant groups affiliated with ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). Some speakers regretted that while Mozambique had received 13 civic space recommendations, nine of these had not been implemented. They were deeply concerned by the unwarranted restrictions on freedom of expression and the deteriorating environment in which journalists and civil society activists operated.
The Vice-President of the Council informed that out of 266 recommendations received, 236 enjoyed the support of Mozambique, while 30 had been noted.
HELENA MATEUS KIDA, Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs of Mozambique, said that Mozambique had listened attentively to the valuable contributions of all the countries that had intervened and was grateful for their messages. Mozambique guaranteed that all accepted and noted recommendations would be considered at the appropriate time by the various State institutions.