Iraq: The SRSG welcomes the adoption of the Independent High Commission for Human Rights' law

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Baghdad-17 November 2008 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Staffan de Mistura welcomed the adoption on 16 November by the Council of Representatives of the Independent High Commission for Human Rights' law, as mandated in the Constitution. The proposal was presented by the Council of Representatives' Human Rights Committee, following months of intensive work.

"The Independent High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) is a milestone in the protection and promotion of human rights in Iraq, which will further on-going efforts of those already involved such as the Ministry of Human Rights, law enforcing agencies, the Council of Representatives, the Judiciary and civil society organizations", Mr. de Mistura said, expressing hope that the law, in compliance with international best practices, shall contribute to advancing important human rights issues, including civil, cultural, economic, political and social human rights.

The SRSG calls on the Government of Iraq and the Council of Representatives to make all necessary arrangements for the prompt establishment of a strong, credible and independent Commission that from the outset becomes an institution responsive to the needs of the Iraqi citizens, especially those of vulnerable groups such as children, women and minorities. He also reiterated UNAMI's readiness to assist in the selection process of the IHCHR members and to work with the Commission once it is in place, as provided for in the law.