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Third Committee

(New York, October 29, 2009)

Statement by Ambassador Claudia Blum, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations, Item 64: Report of the Human Rights Council


Mr. Chairman,

My delegation has taken note of the Report of the Human Rights Council contained in document A/64/53.

Colombia reaffirms its support for the Human Rights Council, the mandates of its Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review, as key institutions for the dialogue and international cooperation for the protection of human rights. These institutions are essential in achieving the objectives of the United Nations in this field.

In the period covered by the report, the Human Rights Council has contributed significantly to strengthening the standards and guidelines on human rights that must be taken into account by States, the international community and different civil society actors.

The document includes important thematic resolutions adopted by the Council, related to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. They offer new guidelines and recommendations to be taken into account by States and other relevant actors. It also includes definitions related to mandates that strengthen the action of the United Nations system in promoting the rights and freedoms.

Colombia co-sponsored several initiatives adopted in the 10th and 11th sessions of the Council, referred to in the report. These include the resolutions related to the Guidelines on Alternative Care of Children, whose consideration is now taking place in the General Assembly. We thank Brazil for its leadership in promoting this important initiative.

Additionally, in the 11th session of the Council, Colombia introduced and cosponsored the resolution on preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights. The Council recognized that this issue requires greater efforts by States and international cooperation in order to more effectively address existing challenges in this field of health, development and human rights.

Among other additional initiatives supported by Colombia, I would like to highlight the co-sponsorship of the resolution concerning the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols, as well as the resolutions on the right to education and on human rights training. We also supported the resolutions related to measures against trafficking in persons, enforced or involuntary disappearances, and arbitrary detentions. We expressed our support, likewise, to the resolution related to the efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women, and the one concerning the protection of human rights while countering terrorism.

Mr. Chairman,

My country notes with appreciation the progress made in the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review. The decisions adopted by the Council as a result of the Review concerning 16 States, including Colombia, are evidence of that progress.

Colombia submitted voluntarily to this Review. The meeting for the presentation of our report and the respective interactive dialogue with other countries took place on 10 December 2008. The final report of the Council was adopted on 20 March 2009.

My delegation wishes to thank once again the opportunity offered to Colombia, to undertake this Review in the Council. This process has proved invaluable to national institutions, as it has brought greater capacity for coordination among them and for its contribution to the identification of challenges and priorities.

Colombia appreciates the comments made by States during the Review. They acknowledged efforts being carried out to achieve full observance of human rights and the progress experienced in recent years, as a result of the implementation of national policies.

As a result of this first Review, Colombia made 69 commitments on a voluntary basis and accepted 96 recommendations made by the 43 countries that participated in the meeting of the Working Group.

The implementation of the commitments made by States in the Universal Periodic Review is essential to strengthen its effectiveness and legitimacy. In this regard, Colombia has established a mechanism composed of the Presidential Program for Human Rights and the Offices of the Directors of Human Rights from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior and Justice, to monitor the implementation of those voluntary commitments and accepted recommendations.

Through this national mechanism, regular progress reports will be issued with updates every four months. The report has a monitoring matrix that organizes all the commitments and recommendations by thematic areas relating to: cooperation with international organizations; the National Plan of Action; civil and political rights; combating impunity; economic, social and cultural rights; and vulnerable populations. The matrix also specifies the responsible entities, implementation strategies, goals and results. The first progress report was released in June this year and has made public through the website of the Presidential Program for Human Rights.

Mr. Chairman,

Colombia will continue to support the work of the Human Rights Council. We trust in the substantial contribution that this body can provide for the promotion of dialogue and cooperation and the promotion of practices that ensure the full realization of human rights in all countries and regions.

Thank you very much.


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