Eritrean Foreign Minister, Osman Saleh, on Monday called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to unequivocally terminate both the Country-Specific Resolution and Country Mandate holder on Eritrea in order for the Council focus on strengthening engagement, dialogue and institutional linkage with Eritrea under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) framework that he described it as timely and legitimate.
The minister made the remarks at a speech he delivered at the 25th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (3 – 28 March, 2014) in Geneva.
Despite the high number of resolutions that passed through the Council to protect and promote human rights, it is in fact worrisome to witness the continued and persistent attempts by certain countries to introduce non-human right related issues into the council’s resolutions.
Minister Osman described the UPR mechanism as a forum that provides every state with the opportunity to see how it is performing in discharging its obligation towards the people and for that, he said, Eritrea believes and reaffirms its commitment to the UPR as the most viable process for dialogue, engagement and cooperation on human rights issues and fundamental freedoms.
On its 22nd and 23rd regular sessions, however, in violation of its own rules of procedure, the Human Rights Council regrettably adopted a resolution condemning Eritrea for human rights violations before any verification took place. It then mandated a Special Rapporteur to verify and justify the measures taken.
Eritrea rejects the resolution as well as the mandate of the special rapporteur for its political stance and motivation.
Minister Osman further described that “the co-sponsors of the resolution were representatives who do not know the reality in Eritrea or very little, if any. Two of the three co-sponsors of the resolutions lack representation in Eritrea and the third one is openly hostile to Eritrea.”
However, the 72 member of the UN Human Rights Council’s working group under the UPR adopts Eritrea’s second cycle National Human Right report few weeks ago and to equally render obsolete the ill-advised mandate of the special rapporteur.
In his closing remark, Minister Osman also urged the Council to be vigilant on such politically motivated resolutions against the country.
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