UN welcomes ratification of pact on economic and social rights

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2 February 2012 – The United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti (MINUSTAH) welcomed today the ratification by the Government of a pact on economic, social and cultural rights.

The ratification of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) on Tuesday by the Haitian Parliament demonstrates a commitment by the country’s authorities to work towards the realization of Haitians’ rights as well as to continue to fight against poverty and social exclusion, MINUSTAH said in a news release.

“The ratification of this international instrument is an important step in broadening the scope of protection of human rights in Haiti,” MINUSTAH stressed, adding that “it also opens interesting perspectives for development cooperation for Haiti.”

MINUSTAH emphasized that the agreement commits the international community to do more to support Government efforts to ensure equal access to education, health and a decent standard of living, including access to water, food and adequate housing that contribute to poverty reduction.

The mission also reiterated its support for the Government in the implementation of the Covenant by providing technical support on harmonization policies, establishing new programmes, and drafting new laws.

Since 2008, MINUSTAH, in particular through its human rights and political affairs section, has encouraged the Covenant’s ratification. The mission also supported the “Haitian Youth Parliament” in its work that led to the symbolic ratification of the Covenant at its last session held in October.

The agreement is part of a number of international instruments that had been recommended to Haiti by international bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council.