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11 Sep 2017 description

Human Rights Council 36th session
Opening Statement by Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

11 September 2017

Distinguished President of the Council,
Colleagues, Friends,

As I enter the final year of my current mandate – a year which I will discharge with vigour and determination – I wish to begin with a few short reflections drawn from the past three years.

04 Oct 2016 description

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville
Location: Geneva
Date: 4 October 2016
Subject: (1) Syria, (2) Yemen and (3) India / Pakistan

(1) Syria

The human rights calamity unfolding in Aleppo demands bold new initiatives, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Tuesday, “including proposals to limit the use of the veto by the permanent members of the Security Council.”

14 Sep 2016 description

I am honoured to address this first session of the Council's second decade.

After two years as High Commissioner, I believe it is important for me to share with you in this oral update our concern over an emerging pattern: the growing refusal on the part of an increasing number of Member States to grant OHCHR, or the human rights mechanisms, access – either to countries generally, or to specific regions, when that access is requested explicitly, or in other instances to engage with us.

17 Aug 2016 description

GENEVA (17 August 2016) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Wednesday expressed deep regret at the failure of Indian and Pakistani authorities to grant the UN Human Rights Office access to Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir respectively, given grave concerns about recent allegations of serious human rights violations.

17 May 2016 description

At first glance, the complex with its barbed wire, locked gates and squalid conditions in an immigration detention centre on Lesbos Island in Greece has all the hallmarks of a prison.

The compound, the Moria “hotspot”, is housing thousands of migrants, including children, who have made the perilous journey to Greece hoping to escape a life of discrimination, war, and extreme poverty.

11 Mar 2016 description

10 March 2016

Distinguished President, Excellencies,

Over the past ten days, many delegations have shared with me their alarm about the growing disarray in many countries. And among other issues, I have raised with many of them my concerns about arrests, harassment and spurious prosecutions of journalists, activists, political opponents and human rights defenders.

23 Dec 2014 description

GENEVA (22 December 2014) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Monday expressed deep regret at the lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty in Pakistan and Jordan in recent days, stressing that no judiciary – anywhere – can be infallible.

16 Dec 2014 description

GENEVA (16 December 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned what he described as “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children” at a mixed school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

29 May 2014 description

GENEVA (28 May 2014) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Wednesday strongly condemned the killing of a 25-year-old pregnant woman, stoned to death by her family as she approached a Pakistani court on Tuesday, and urged the Government of Pakistan to do much more to prevent such killings.

10 Sep 2012 description

Geneva, 10 September 2012

I would like to begin by expressing sympathy with the victims and families of those who have lost their lives or been injured as a result of the earthquakes in China and the bombings across Iraq.

18 Jun 2012 description

Geneva, 18 June 2012

Madame President, Distinguished Members of the Human Rights Council, Excellencies, Colleagues and Friends,

07 Jun 2012 description

Islamabad, 7 June 2012

Good afternoon, and thank you for coming.

Before giving a brief overview of my impressions during my four-day visit here, I would like to thank the Government for inviting me to Pakistan.

04 Jun 2012 description

GENEVA (4 June 2012) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today begins a four-day mission to Pakistan at the invitation of the Government. It is her first visit to the country since becoming High Commissioner in 2008.

During the four-day mission, the UN human rights chief is due to meet Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and other Government ministers. She will also hold discussions with the Chief Justice, Members of Parliament, members of the legal profession and civil society organisations.

02 Mar 2011 description

GENEVA (2 March 2011) - The High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Wednesday condemned the assassination of Pakistan's Minister for Minority Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, who is the second high profile public figure to have been killed since the beginning of the year apparently because of their opposition to Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

Mr. Bhatti was killed when gunmen attacked his car in Islamabad on 2 March.

01 Oct 2009 description

Despite global acceptance of existing human rights legislation dealing with children's rights, 250,000 child soldiers remain involved in more than 30 conflicts around the world today.

This contradiction was highlighted by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, in her report to the 12th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

03 Jun 2009 description

Geneva, 3 June 2009

Mr. President,

Distinguished Members of the Human Rights Council,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I appreciate this opportunity to present some updates on human rights themes and on situations of particular concern. But first, I wish to congratulate those States that have been re-elected or were newly selected as Members of the Human Rights Council.

27 Aug 2008 description

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is concerned about the recent violent protests in Indian-administered Kashmir that have reportedly led to civilian casualties as well as restrictions to the right to freedom of assembly and expression.

OHCHR calls on the Indian authorities and in particular security forces to respect the right to freedom of assembly and expression, and comply with international human rights principles in controlling the demonstrators.