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Speaking Points (Intervention by Ambassador Henry Mac Donald) at the Presentation of the Human Rights report by the High Commissioner of Human Rights Mrs. Navy Pilay
21 November 2011 / 06:38

·      I would like to congratulate the United Nations High Commissioner, Ms. NavanthemPillay with the presentation of this comprehensive Human Rights Report and with her continued work/efforts to monitor and oversee the protection of civil, political, economic and social rights all over the world.
 
·      The rapid and timely response of the OHCHR in human rights situation when and where ever warrant is also being recognized.
 
·      The Human Rights Council took a critical look at the human rights situation in Suriname this year. The Government of Suriname was pleased to appear before this very important body and the UPR review process, was warmly welcomed as yet another step to bring the actual human rights situation in my country in line with all principals and mechanisms of the international human rights machinery.  
 
[Allow me to thank your Office for the assistance and professional guidance that we receive in Geneva as well as electronically. The Minister of Justice and Police of Suriname and I met with various experts of your Office during our visit to Geneva. The support was professional and very helpful.]
 
·      Various recommendations where immediately accepted since those where already in the pipeline to implemented, however there were some which requires more intensive and concentrated discussion. Nevertheless I can assure you that “ALL” will get the necessary attention of the Government and its other domestic institutions.
 
·      I also comment your office for the important and leading role that it has played this year during “the International Year of People of African Decent”. 2011 is coming to a close, but I would like to urge your Office to continue with the development and implementation of activities in order to combat all types of discrimination of Afro –Descendants worldwide and to empower people of African descent.
 
[As you know the UN member states have called upon the United Nations to erect a Permanent Memorial on the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery here at the United Nations Head. It is my hope that your Office will help to spread to word and do whatever it can in order to realize this noble initiative in time.]
 
QUESTIONS:
·      Finally, The realization of MDG 3 (Promotion of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) is in my view one of the most important development goals, if we want to be successful with the timely realization of all others. However the fulfillment of this important goal is rather slow. (Still 3+ years to go). Could you please indicate if your Office will initiate (new) programs/plans to assist members states in this regard?     
 
·      You also mentioned combating impunity and of protecting human rights in the context of armed conflict and insecurity and provided technical advice on a draft law for prosecution of violations of international human right law. Does that law also apply to peacekeepers who commit human rights violations while on peacekeeping operations?