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The following statement was delivered today by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva:
TUNIS/GENEVE (20 avril 2015) – Au terme d’une brève visite en Tunisie lundi, le Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein a salué la détermination du peuple tunisien à défendre fermement les aspirations aux droits de l'homme qui ont déclenché la transition de 2011 dans le pays, et ce en dépit de nombreux défis et obstacles potentiels.
TUNIS/GENEVA (20 April 2015) – At the end of a brief visit to Tunisia on Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein applauded the resolve of the Tunisian people to stand firmly behind the human rights aspirations that sparked the 2011 transition in the country – in spite of many challenges and potential roadblocks.
Geneva, 27 May 2013
Distinguished Members of the Human Rights Council,
Excellencies and colleagues,
It is, as ever, an honour to open this session of the Human Rights Council. I come to this task today in the hope that we will be able to spark tangible action to stop the escalating bloodshed and suffering in Syria, which after 26 months has become an intolerable affront to the human conscience.
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville
Date: 30 November 2012
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is expressing alarm at the current violent unrest in the Tunisian town of Siliana and urging the Government to ensure that security forces stop using excessive force against demonstrators. The High Commissioner also stresses that demonstrators should at all times avoid resorting to violence.
Geneva, 18 October 2012
As you may know, I began my second term last month. I thought this would be a good opportunity to reflect on the past four years since I became High Commissioner in September 2008, and also to look forward to what I hope can be achieved over the next two years before handing over the baton to my successor.
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.
Geneva, 18 June 2012
Madame President, Distinguished Members of the Human Rights Council, Excellencies, Colleagues and Friends,
True development is not about economic growth; it is about the constant improvement of the wellbeing of people, including through productive investment, the creation of decent jobs and the fair distribution of benefits, without discrimination.
It is a lesson that has been brought home by the Arab Spring.
Madam President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentleman,
2011 has been an extraordinary year for human rights.
A year when a single word, embodying the thwarted quest of a single impoverished young man in a remote province of Tunisia, struck a chord which swiftly rose to a crescendo.
On 6 January 2011, at 6 o’clock in the morning, Sofiane Belhaj, a blogger and human rights defender, was arrested at his home. “I was not sleeping. I had just published some documents on the Internet,” he says, recounting the day. “Some friends had warned me that the police was looking for information about my pseudonym. I had a plan to escape from the back of the house.” But, things took a different turn. “All of a sudden, when the police came, I decided to give myself up to them.
The Tunisian revolution, begun just 10 months ago by young people determined to take the future of their country into their own hands, has inspired both young and old throughout the region – and beyond – to become aware of, and call for, their rights.
We are still in the very early stages of this wider regional ‘revolution,’ whose future is uncertain and may take many years to fully unfold. But, on Sunday, Tunisia will once again be the regional pioneer as it holds the first post-revolution democratic election in a dramatically altered landscape.
It is a great pleasure to be here in Tunisia. It is an even greater pleasure and honour to be opening a UN human rights office here for the first time in history. And it is not just the first one in Tunisia, but the first UN human rights office in any of the five North African countries bordering the Mediterranean. I would therefore like to thank the people and government of Tunisia for pioneering human rights in this region – and, of course in many more ways than just the establishment of this office.
GENEVA – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will open the first ever UN human rights office in a Mediterranean North African country on Thursday.
Pillay, who is undertaking a two-day visit to Tunisia from13-14 July, will sign a “host country agreement” with Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Kefi on Wednesday, and then, following a meeting with Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi, will open the new UN human rights office in the capital Tunis on Thursday.
Today we are exactly half way through the year, and I thought this was a good moment to update you on a number of developments, as well as to present some longer-term reflections on the state of human rights around the globe in the light of events that have taken place over the past six tumultuous months.
“The collective actions of the people of North Africa and the Middle East have reaffirmed the importance and universality of human rights in a way we could not have dreamed of on 1 January this year,” UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay said to the Geneva press corps. “We all want, we all deserve, and we are all entitled to have our rights observed – not partially, not sometimes, not at the whim of dictators or other repressive rulers and authorities, but all of us, all of the time, everywhere.”
The demand for human rights lies at the heart of the vision for a ‘new’ Tunisia.
In cooperation with the Tunisian Transitional Government and civil society partners, the UN Human Rights office (OHCHR) is working to help the people of Tunisia realize their vision for a “new” Tunisia based on participation, accountability, justice and equality.
South Africa Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development (SANPAD)
10 May 2011 The Hague, The Netherlands
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
GENEVA (12 May 2011) – Independent human rights expert Juan Méndez will visit Tunisia from 15 to 22 May 2011, to assess problems and challenges faced by the transitional Government.“ The new authorities have taken a number of steps towards ensuring accountability and long-term reforms. As the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, I will focus on identifying areas where I can be of assistance,” he said.