25 February 2012

Deputy Minister Marius Fransman to participate in the High-Level Segment of the 19th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman will visit Geneva, Switzerland, to participate in the high-level segment of the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), scheduled for 27 February - 02 March 2012.

It is expected that Deputy Minister Fransman will deliver a statement to the UNHRC on 29 February 2012. The statement will cover contemporary issues facing the international human rights system and the agenda of the Human Rights Council.

The Human Rights Council is expected to appoint a number of mandate holders, including the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan; the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic; the Special Rapporteur on truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence; as well as the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order.

A number of panel discussions will also be convened during the 19th session of the HRC, including panel discussions on discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and a panel discussion on the freedom of expression on the internet.

An annual thematic discussion on best practices and promotion of technical cooperation, in preparation for the commencement of the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism, will also take place.

South Africa will be among the first countries to be reviewed during the second cycle, where the focus will be on the implementation of accepted recommendations during the first cycle.

The Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Mr Olivier De Schutter, will present a report on his 2011 mission visit to South Africa on 06 March 2012.  South Africa will be expected to respond to his report as the country concerned.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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