Press Release

23 February 2013

Deputy Minister Ebrahim to participate in a High-Level Meeting of the UN Human Rights Council

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim will participate in the high-level segment of the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), scheduled for 25-28 February 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.

It is expected that Deputy Minister Ebrahim will deliver a statement to the Human Rights Council on 25 February 2013. The statement will cover contemporary issues facing the international human rights system and the agenda of the Human Rights Council.

The Council has estimated that over 80 Ministers and other senior dignitaries will address the Council on human rights matters of national interest and concern during the four-day high-level segment.

A high-level panel on the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action on Human Rights is expected to take place on the first day.

During the session, the Human Rights Council will hold interactive dialogues with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navi Pillay, as well as with its Special Procedures on the right to food; adequate housing; torture; human rights defenders; arbitrary detention; human rights and counter-terrorism; enforced disappearances; freedom of religion or belief; human rights and the environment; human rights and foreign debt; the sale of children; private military and security companies; and minorities.  The Council will also consider reports from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children and the Fact Finding Mission on Israeli settlements.

Interactive dialogues will also be held with experts on the human rights situation in Syria, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar and Iran, and on technical assistance and cooperation with experts on Côte d’Ivoire and Haiti.

South Africa plays a leadership role in several inter-governmental processes at the UN pertaining to human rights and social development issues. South Africa is the current Chair of the Open-ended Working Group on Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs), whose objective is to elaborate a legally-binding regulatory framework and to ensure that PMSCs are held accountable for their activities.

South Africa is also the current Chair of the Ad-hoc Committee on the elaboration of complementary standards to the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) aimed at combatting contemporary forms of racism.

Together with the Irish Foreign Minister, South Africa is the co-facilitator of the President of the UN General Assembly’s High-level event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This event adds further momentum and commitment towards the achievement of the MDGs up to 2015 and beyond.

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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