Monday, June 20, 2011

Kuwait gets membership in human rights council

Source: Kuwait Times 
Published Date: June 20, 2011
GENEVA: Kuwait's accession into the United Nations Human Rights Council, effective today, constitutes a major national achievement and a qualitative step in the Kuwaiti diplomatic activities, said a ranking diplomat. This membership was sought in accordance with a decision by top political leaders, said Kuwait's Permanent Delegate to the UN Office in Geneva Ambassador Dharar Razzooqi, in an interview on the occasion of the significant event, the first of its kind since the Gulf state joined the United Nati
ons Security Council 30 years ago.
Kuwait's presence in the council will enable it to take part, effectively, in its various activities and contribute directly in the decision-making processes, said the veteran diplomat in the statement. It has been following up closely on activities of the council in the capacity of an observer since it was founded in 2006. The accession into the council as a member, along with 46 other states, would double the responsibility on the state shoulders for safeguarding and promoting human rights globally, he a

The Kuwaiti delegation will have to deal directly with issues to be put for deliberation in the council, and some of the "hot topics" would require voting on draft resolutions, he explained further the forecast tasks of the Kuwaiti delegates. Elaborating, he indicated at Kuwait's particular concern at some crucial issues, namely human rights in Palestine and the occupied Arab territories, matters related to desecration of religions and sanctities and various affairs concerning the developing nations.

Stances of Kuwait will be taken according to the nature of the topics to be tabled and in coordination with Arab, Muslim and non-aligned groups, Razzouqi said, stressing the necessity of unifying views of the Arab delegates toward issues that concern the Arab nation.

The UNHR monitors records of the member states regarding respect for human rights, relevant laws, extent of abidance by the related international laws, thus each country must adopt policies of maximum transparency for respecting man's rights and dignity. Members that violate such rules may be subjected to cross-examination by the board and its membership might be "suspended.

As to Kuwait, it filed its report about human rights conditions for the regular comprehensive review last year. The report included replies to various questions and was unanimously endorsed. Kuwait abides by international treaties and covenants, namely those related to human rights. It also seriously seeks to resolve some of the related prime issues, including the illegal residents issue.

The head of the central apparatus for settling conditions of the illegal residents, Saleh Al-Fadhala, declared that Kuwait adopted 11 privileges to this segment of the residents of Kuwait, such as education, health care, food shopping cards and driving licenses, he said, alluding also to "full coordination" between the department and the permanent delegation in Geneva.

The State of Kuwait will grant nationality to those whose names were registered in the 1965 census, in accordance with the citizenship law, he said, also indicating that the nationality would be granted to "those of clean (criminal) records, and stressing that granting the citizenship is totally a sovereign issue based on the higher interests of the state.

Moreover, Kuwait is keen on boosting its ties with the various authorities affiliated with the UNHRC. Last May, it reviewed its obligations toward the UN Convention against Torture with the relevant commission. Furthermore, Kuwait will submit two reports about the International Covenant on Civil Rights and the UN Convention on Discrimination against Women ahead of the yearend.

Razzouqi added that Kuwait has taken tangible steps as to the implementation of pledges made to the UNHR, such as establishing the human rights authority.
The diplomat re-asserted that the membership in the UNHRC would enhance the international diplomatic status of Kuwait and pave the way for greater cooperation between the national authorities and the council, as well as with the subsidiary agencies and committees. The 47-member council was founded in 2006. --- KUNA

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