ASEAN affirms commitment to Universal Periodic Review mechanism

Saturday, 2016-09-24 22:42:35
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Ambassador Nguyen Trung Thanh, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva (Photo:VNA)
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NDO/VNA—The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) firmly believes in and reaffirms its commitment to the spirit, principles, objectives and modalities of the Universal Periodic Review as stipulated in HRC Resolutions 5/1 and 16/21.

The bloc, which consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, made clear its stance in a joint statement delivered by Ambassador Nguyen Trung Thanh, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international organisations in Geneva, at the general debate on September 23 on Item 6 in the framework of the 33rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“We recognize that a key to the success of the UPR is its being an intergovernmental peer-review mechanism where every country is equally and objectively reviewed and encouraged to further promote and protect human rights in their own country, according to their needs and priorities,” the statement said.

ASEAN also stressed that the UPR must continue to be conducted in an objective, transparent, non-selective, constructive, non-confrontational and non-politicized manner, taking into account their respective social, political and economic circumstances.

“We reaffirm that national mechanisms are best placed to translate UPR recommendations into concrete outcomes for their citizens. In order that the UPR continues to improve the human rights situation on the ground, we believe that UPR should enhance constructive dialogue, serve as a forum of sharing of best practices in the implementation, and promote constructive cooperation, especially through technical assistance and capacity building, in consultation with, and with the consent of, the state concerned,” the statement said.

ASEAN countries once again reaffirm their commitment to continue their constructive engagement with this mechanism of the Human Rights Council.

The UPR, which was launched in 2008, involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN member states. It provides an opportunity for all states to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights.