Outgoing UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein yesterday commended Sri Lanka and several other countries for hosting at least five visits by thematic mandates in the last five years.
The other countries which hosted at least five thematic mandates were Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Chile, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Serbia, Tunisia, Ukraine, the UK and the US.
In his opening statement and global update of human rights concerns at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council which commenced yesterday, High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said he was pleased to note a number of positive developments with respect to access for Special UN Procedures.
“These include an increased response rate to communications, now at 68 per cent and Afghanistan’s issuance of a standing invitation to all mandate-holders, taking the number of States having done so to 118 UN Member States and one non-member Observer State,” he said.
Regarding engagement with the Treaty Bodies, he said he welcomed long-outstanding reports to the Committees by Bangladesh, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Tonga and Zambia.
“Allow me also to applaud Qatar’s accession to the Covenants and Afghanistan’s accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, alongside many other ratifications.
My Office stands ready to support them in efforts to implement these commitments to ensure respect for their people's rights, and I urge other countries which have not ratified these and other human rights treaties to do so,” he said.
The 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council which is being held at the the Palais des Nations at Geneva in Switzerland would be concluded on July 6. (Lahiru Pothmulla)