South African Government Contention of the Human Rights issues on Zimbabwe in the Security Council of the United Nations (UN) instead of in the appropriate Fora for Human Rights issues of the UN

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 134

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO. 14 OF 15 MAY 2007

MR L B LABUSCHAGNE (DA)) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

Whether, in the light of the Government's contention that the Security Council of the United Nations (UN) is not the appropriate forum for raising human rights issues regarding Zimbabwe, the Government will raise these matters in the appropriate human rights fora of the UN; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? N931E

REPLY:

The overall position of South Africa is that all human rights situations including those relating to Zimbabwe should be addressed in the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. This is the primary forum within the multilateral system that was set up for the consideration of human rights issues. On 26 April 2007, at its fourth session, the Human Rights Council deliberated on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe.

It should be noted by the Honorable Member that Zimbabwe is not on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council. However, during South Africa's Presidency of the Security Council in March 2007 the delegation of the United Kingdom requested that informal consultations on the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe be held. This meeting was indeed held and the Council was briefed about the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe. South Africa had indeed made the point before this meeting that the UNSC was not the appropriate forum for the consideration of the situation in Zimbabwe.


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