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Statement by H.E. Henry Mac Donald Permanent Representative of the Republic of Suriname to the United Nations on behalf of the Caribbean Community(CARICOM) on agenda item 64 REPORT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCILTHIRD COMMITTEE New York, 2 November 2011
03 November 2011 / 07:10

Chairperson,
 
On behalf of the member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) I would like to thank the President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Laura Dupay Laserre, for her presentation of the Report of the Human Rights Council (HRC) to the third committee.
 
CARICOM has taken note of the Report of the HRC (A/66/53 and A/66/53/Add.1) covering the 16th - 18th Sessions as well as the 14th - 17th Special Sessions. 
We are pleased to note that the Council meets regularly throughout the year, as envisaged in resolution 65/251. The special sessions held to address pressing human rights situations around the world is testimony that the Council acts promptly to human rights emergencies.
 
Numerous issues have been addressed by the Council related to human rights questions during the reporting period. Several noteworthy initiatives have been realized such as the adoption of the Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure, as well as the United Nations Declaration on human rights learning.
 
We also note the extended mandate for 3 more years of several mandate holders. Most notably we would like to refer to the Presidential Statement (PRST) 18/11 that states “that upon the request of the authorities in Haiti, the Human Rights Council decided to technically extend the mandate of the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti until the nineteenth session of the Council”.
 
A matter of grave concern to the countries of the region pertains to the exceeding of mandates by special mandate holders. While the independence of the mandate holders is acknowledged, we are of the view that mandate holders should carry out their activities in full respect of the Code of Conduct.
 
Special mandate holders in defiance of their mandate do not necessarily contribute to an environment for a constructive dialogue with States to promote and protect human rights.
CARICOM expects the special mandate holders to engage in constructive dialogue with member states in the discharge of their mandate.
 
Chairperson,
 
CARICOM is also pleased to note the adoption, without a vote, of the outcome of the mandated Review of the Council. The majority of the countries of the region are not represented in Geneva and we availed ourselves of the opportunity provided by the discussions of the New York chapter in order to contribute to this very important review exercise.
   
We will continue to support the work of the Council to ensure that it continues to execute its mandate, duly taking into account the principles of universality, objectivity and non-selectivity in the consideration of human rights issues, as well as the elimination of double standards, as enshrined in the resolution establishing this body.
We have also reached a remarkable point in the work of the Council, namely the completion of the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review. It is good to note that all member states have participated in this peer review mechanism, which is intended to have universal coverage.
 
Noting that capacity building was identified as one of the important pillars in resolution 60/251, which established the Council, we, as small States, owe gratitude to all partners for their assistance- both technical and financial- in the preparation of national reports, through the organization of, inter alia, regional briefings and workshops.
 
As we look forward to the second UPR cycle, to commence in 2012, we support the decision of the Council that it should focus on the implementation of the accepted recommendations and the development of human rights situations in the State under review.
 
CARICOM countries pledge their support for the second cycle of the UPR and to continue the constructive dialogue with the Council.
 
Thank you.