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Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcomes of the Central African Republic and Monaco

Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcomes of the Central African Republic and Monaco

The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of the Central African Republic and Monaco.

Léopold Ismael Samba, Permanent Representative of the Central African Republic to the United Nations Office at Geneva, recalled that the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review was taking place at a decisive moment in the history of the Central African Republic.  Out of 207 recommendations, the Government had accepted 178 and taken note of 28.  The accepted recommendations concerned the re-establishment of State authority, the search for peaceful solutions to the conflict, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and the fight against impunity. 

In the ensuing discussion, speakers commended the Government of the Central African Republic for its focus on promoting security, peace and national reconciliation.  States encouraged the Government to view all recommendations as guides towards the attainment of human rights.  Speakers also commended the country for putting in place mechanisms for preventing discrimination against women and children and for adopting measures to end the recruitment of children in armed conflicts.  Concern was raised that perpetrators still enjoyed impunity, which further threatened civilians, especially women and girls.   

Speaking were China, Côte D’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Iraq, Madagascar, Philippines, Russian Federation and Senegal.

Also taking the floor were the following non-governmental organizations: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Amnesty International, Rencontre Africaine pour la défense des droits de l'homme, Association of World Citizens, and International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The President informed that out of 207 recommendations, the Government had accepted 178 and noted 28.  The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of the Central African Republic. 

Carole Lanteri, Permanent Representative of Monaco to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said Monaco had accepted 72 out of 113 received recommendations, and noted 35.  The Government had not expressed its position on six recommendations.  The 35 noted recommendations and the six remaining recommendations were incompatible with the specificities of Monaco.  The ratification of the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court would require a profound reform of several legal standards, including the Constitution.  The same applied to accession to some of the conventions of the International Labour Organization. 

In the ensuing discussion, speakers were pleased with the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee for the protection of women’s rights.  They also welcomed the steps taken by the Government for the empowerment of women and ensuring access to healthcare for all children.  Delegations commended that free education had been made available and compulsory up to the age of 16.  Monaco was urged to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a matter of urgency and complete its commitment to disarmament.

Speaking were Madagascar, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Moldova, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Venezuela, Burkina Faso, China and Iraq.

Also taking the floor were the following non-governmental organizations: United Villages , Association of World Citizens, and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

The President informed that out of 113 received recommendations, 72 were noted. The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Monaco.

The Council will next meet on Friday, 15 March at 9 a.m. to consider the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of Belize, Chad, China and Malta.  It will then hold a general debate on the Universal Periodic Review. 

Consideration of Outcome of Universal Periodic Review of the Central African Republic

LÉOPOLD ISMAEL SAMBA, Permanent Representative of the Central African Republic to the United Nations Office at Geneva, recalled that the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review was taking place at a decisive moment in the history of the Central African Republic.  Following two years of arduous and intense discussions between the Government and 14 armed groups, the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic had been signed in Bangui on 6 February 2019.  Led by the African Union, the process would not have been successful without the partners, such as the United Nations, the European Union, the Economic Community of Central African States, and regional countries.  In line with the Khartoum Agreement, the parties had agreed to refrain from any use of force in resolving their differences.  Turning to the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, Mr. Samba reminded that out of 207 recommendations, the Government had accepted 178 and taken note of 28.  The accepted recommendations concerned the re-establishment of State authority, the search for peaceful solutions to the conflict, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and the fight against impunity.  The Department of Justice and Human Rights had been working over the past several months to deploy judges and lawyers throughout the territory of the country.  The authorities had also been engaged in pursuing reforms in the security sector and in the professionalization of the security forces.  When it came to the rights of the child, the Central African Republic had already ratified the first two Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

On the death penalty, Mr. Samba informed that the Government was strongly committed to its abolition and the moratorium on the death penalty had been in place for several years.  With respect to the rights of minorities, he clarified that the Government was committed to promoting inclusion and temporary special measures in order to correct inequalities affecting different communities, and to assure full participation in the political, economic and social life of the nation.  As for the decriminalization of homosexuality, there was no article of the Penal Code that criminalized persons on the basis of their sexual orientation. 

China commended the Government of the Central African Republic for its commitment to continue efforts in the promotion and protection of human rights, and towards social and economic development.

Côte d’Ivoire welcomed the commitment and acceptance by the Central African Republic of the recommendations contained in the Universal Periodic Review.  It voiced appreciation for its focus on promoting security, peace and national reconciliation.  Côte d’Ivoire invited the Central African Republic to continue its involvement with the international human rights instruments.

Cuba thanked the Central African Republic for having accepted its recommendations on the promotion of health, education and the rights of people with disabilities.  It encouraged the Central African Republic to view all recommendations as guides towards the attainment of human rights.

Democratic Republic of the Congo thanked the Central African Republic for its active participation in the Universal Periodic Review process and for efforts made to put the recommendations into effect.  It called on funding bodies and States to support the Central African Republic financially in its endeavours.

Djibouti commended the Central African Republic for having accepted the majority of the recommendations and was delighted that its recommendations on violence against women and recruitment of child soldiers had been accepted.

Egypt commended the willingness of the Government of the Central African Republic to accept the recommendations, which reflected its commitment to cooperate with human rights mechanisms.

Ethiopia commended the Central African Republic for having accepted a number of recommendations, including those proposed by Ethiopia.  It also commended the country for having put in place mechanisms to prevent discrimination, in particular against women and children. 

Gabon welcomed the delegation of the Central African Republic and its tireless work to establish peace across its entire territory.  Gabon also welcomed the work done to adopt all measures to end the recruitment of children in armed conflict.  Gabon invited the Council to adopt the report.

Iraq was delighted that the Central African Republic had accepted all three recommendations that Iraq had tabled.  Iraq expressed hope that those would be implemented in line with international norms, and it recommended that its Universal Periodic Review outcome be adopted.

Madagascar commended the Central Africa Republic’s actions to return to constitutional legality, particularly measures taken to prohibit and punish the recruitment of children in armed conflict.  Madagascar encouraged the Central African Republic to continue consolidating the rule of law. 

Philippines acknowledged the constructive approach of the Central African Republic to the Universal Periodic Review and noted its acceptance of most of the recommendations, especially those tabled by the Philippines on addressing gender-based violence and protection of children in armed conflict.  The Philippines encouraged the Central African Republic to continue advancing human rights protection. 

Russian Federation noted the progress made by the Central African Republic in the promotion of human rights despite the difficult political and economic situation.  The authorities needed to be commended for their willingness to cooperate with the United Nations human rights mechanisms. 

Senegal welcomed efforts to restore the rule of law, combat impunity and promote reconciliation in the Central African Republic.   The implementation of the Khartoum Agreement was important given the situation in the region.  Senegal called on the international community to help the Central African Republic achieve peace and stability.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide urged the Central African Republic to provide adequate security to communities vulnerable to attacks by armed groups.  Attacks on camps of internally displaced persons near churches in the towns of Alindao and Ippy had demonstrated alarming levels of indiscriminate violence. 

Amnesty International was concerned about the continued serious human rights abuses committed by armed groups in the Central African Republic.  Amnesty welcomed the Government’s efforts to disarm and demobilize armed groups, as well as the transfer of the warlord Rambo to the International Criminal Court in November 2018.  Impunity, however, remained a significant problem.

Rencontre Africaine pour la défense des droits de l'homme commended the Central African Republic on having improved the security situation in recent years.  However, the circulation of light weapons had to be tackled.  The organization invited all groups to observe the Khartoum Agreement.  It urged the authorities and the United Nations to address the growing food insecurity in the country.

Association of World Citizens voiced concern about the violations against women and children in the Central African Republic, noting that measures should be taken to tackle forced and early marriage, as well as female genital mutilation.  It also called for the establishment of mechanisms for ensuring justice and for holding perpetrators to account.

International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination noted significant advancements in the judiciary system in the Central African Republic, most notably the establishment of criminal courts to look into war crimes.  However, it was concerned that many perpetrators still enjoyed impunity, which further threatened civilians, especially women and girls. 

The President informed that out of 207 recommendations, the Central African Republic had accepted 178 and noted 28.

LÉOPOLD ISMAEL SAMBA, Permanent Representative of the Central African Republic to the United Nations Office at Geneva, thanked delegations and non-governmental organizations for their statements, which would help the implementation of the recommendations received.  He reiterated the Central African Republic’s commitment to the Universal Periodic Review, adding that the Khartoum Agreement gave tangible hope to the resolution of the situation in the Central African Republic.  He expressed hope that it would be accepted by all parties.

The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of the Central African Republic.

Consideration of the Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Monaco

CAROLE LANTERI, Permanent Representative of Monaco to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that Monaco was deeply attached to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as to the Universal Periodic Review which allowed it to strengthen these rights.  Monaco had examined in detail all the recommendations and sought to respond in a detailed manner in an addendum submitted to the Council.  Monaco had accepted 72 out of 113 received recommendations, and noted 35.  The Government had not expressed its position on six recommendations.  On the rights of women, Ms. Lanteri informed that a committee for the promotion of women’s rights had been created under the Ministry of State.  The committee also involved representatives of different ministries and associations in the field.  On children’s rights, Ms. Lanteri noted equal access to education and care for all children who lived in Monaco, without any discrimination based on gender or age.  Concerning policies for the elderly, she said there were plans for a new retirement home and for a structure for elderly persons with psychosocial disabilities, as well as a number of initiatives for comprehensive geriatric care. 

The 35 noted recommendations and the six remaining recommendations were incompatible with the specificities of Monaco, and others required mechanisms that were different from those already in place to achieve similar results.  On the ratification of the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court, Ms. Lanteri said it would require a profound reform of several legal standards, including the Constitution.  Monaco did, however, want to cooperate with the International Criminal Court.  The same applied to accession to some of the conventions of the International Labour Organization.  With respect to the ratification of the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, Monaco’s small territory meant that the presence of irregular workers was not likely.  In addition, rigorous labour inspections were carried out to prevent any labour exploitation.  As for the overseas development assistance, it increased by 10 per cent every year, and it would reach 20 million euros in 2020.  More than 70 per cent of the development assistance went to seven African countries.  To contribute to gender equality, Monaco’s actions were aimed at improving maternal health, education for girls, and supporting entrepreneurship of women, particularly in rural areas and for vulnerable women.

Madagascar welcomed the establishment by Monaco of an inter-ministerial committee for the protection of women’s rights, and invited the Council to adopt Monaco’s Universal Periodic Review outcome.  Madagascar wished Monaco success in implementing the recommendations.

Pakistan commended the Government of Monaco for having accepted most of the recommendations made during the Universal Periodic Review, including those offered by Pakistan.  It also welcomed the steps taken by the Government to empower women and to ensure access to healthcare for all children. 

Philippines was pleased to note that Monaco had accepted two of its recommendations, concerning the International Organization for Migration, and the International Labour Organization.  It also welcomed Monaco’s efforts in implementing measures to further enhance the promotion and protection of human rights.

Republic of Moldova commended Monaco for having accepted most of the recommendations, including those to further ensure the education for all, as recommended by the Republic of Moldova.  It appreciated that Monaco had adopted measures to protect women’s rights. 

Tunisia welcomed the creation of new institutions in Monaco for the protection of children, women and migrants.  It wished Monaco success in implementing the recommendations put forward.

Turkmenistan appreciated Monaco’s involvement in the Universal Periodic Review, which was a valuable opportunity for it to learn more about Monaco’s experience to ensure the promotion of human rights.  It wished Monaco success in the implementation of the recommendations it had accepted, including those submitted by Turkmenistan.

Venezuela appreciated the efforts made by Monaco to ensure that the rights of the most vulnerable, including women, girls, and persons with disabilities were upheld, and that free education had been made available and compulsory up to the age of 16.

Burkina Faso welcomed Monaco’s adoption of most of the recommendations made to it during the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review cycle.  Burkina Faso encouraged Monaco to implement those recommendations with success.

China commended Monaco for its constructive participation in the Universal Periodic Review and expressed hope that Monaco would continue its efforts to promote the rights of women and children.

Iraq thanked Monaco for having accepted the recommendations tabled by Iraq and commended Monaco for having accepted the majority of the recommendations in general.  Iraq called on the Council to adopt the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Monaco.

United Villages was pleased that Monaco had taken positive steps to protect human rights, including changing its domestic laws.   Monaco had ratified numerous international human rights instruments, in order to keep pace with the international community, ranging from the Council of Europe conventions to the United Nations conventions on human rights.

Association of World Citizens regretted that Monaco had not accepted some recommendations on the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls.  Discriminatory legislation had to be repealed.  Monaco should withdraw reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, and it should ratify the Rome Statute.

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons asked Monaco to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a matter of urgency, as outlined in the relevant recommendation.  Monaco would in that way complete its commitment to disarmament by becoming a State party to that treaty.

The President informed that out of 113 received recommendations, Monaco had accepted 72 and noted 41.

CAROLE LANTERI, Permanent Representative of Monaco to the United Nations Office at Geneva, thanked delegations for their comments and recommendations.  She added that her delegation would relay all the feedback from the discussions to the Government of Monaco. 

The Council then adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Monaco.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
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