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Seychelles to seek seat on United Nations Human Rights Council; part of push to increase international presence

Victoria, Seychelles | February 26, 2020, Wednesday @ 15:58 in National » GENERAL | By: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 3643
Seychelles to seek seat on United Nations Human Rights Council; part of push to increase international presence

Barry Faure was addressing state leaders and ministers of foreign affairs at a High-Level Segment of the Human Right Council's 43rd session. (Department of Foreign Affairs)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles intends to run for a seat on the United Nations' Human Rights Council next year in line with the modalities of the African Union, said the Secretary of State in the Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

Barry Faure was addressing state leaders and ministers of foreign affairs at a High-Level Segment of the Human Right Council's 43rd session in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday. 

Faure said Seychelles' candidacy for the Human Rights Council is part of the island nation's increased involvement in the United Nations system in Geneva to ensure its voice is heard at the highest forum for international human rights.

He expressed Seychelles' commitment to the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights for all persons, and pledged Seychelles' support to the work of the Human Rights Council.

Set up in 2005, the Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations and made up of 47 states responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. The Council meets at the UN Office in Geneva.

"The world is facing the consequences of a changed climate and the solution to our predicament is not inaction, but urgent, decisive and perhaps most importantly united and collective action," said Faure.

He called on the Human Rights Council to "continue to recognise the acute impacts of climate change on fundamental human rights, and to further strategies to ensure that the greatest existential threat of our times is a conscious part of all human rights dialogues and decisions."

Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, has taken steps towards enabling a rights-based environment focused on the principles of good governance, accountability and transparency.

In September last year, Seychelles set an Information Commission to give its citizens access to information.

The Vice President, Vincent Meriton, had said that the access will allow citizens to question, investigate and consider whether public duties are being performed properly.

"As government we believe that access to information is a fundamental requirement for ensuring democratic participation, good and transparent conduct of public affairs, oversight by public opinion and civil society scrutiny," he added.

A Human Rights Commission was established in Seychelles in 2018 to advise the government on matters related to the protection of human rights, in administrative practice as well as in proposed legislation. It will also undertake research and sensitisation programmes for the furtherance of human rights and monitor Seychelles' compliance with the terms of international conventions and charters relevant to the functions of the Commission.

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Tags: United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Commission, Information Commission

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