HRC33 Oral Statement during the General Debate on the Update by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
15 September 2016 4:52 pm

33rd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 2: Oral Update by the High Commissioner – General Debate

Oral Statement Delivered by Rosanna Ocampo

On behalf of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Mr President, FORUM-ASIA welcomes the High Commissioner’s update. We share his concerns on attempts by states to evade human rights scrutiny and block access to UN and other international observers as well as to discredit and undermine the work of OHCHR and UN human rights mechanisms. We also reiterate his views on the importance of country specific mandates.

We further echo his concerns on the complete disdain with which the President of the Philippines continues to rebuke calls by national and international human rights institutions to end extrajudicial killings and follow international law, despite the staggering number of people extra-judicially killed without due process. Over 2,000 people have reportedly been summarily killed by police and vigilantes since the presidential election last May.[1] The circumstances surrounding most of these killings have never been investigated and perpetrators enjoy complete impunity.

We fear that this approach by the government threatens to undermine the overall protection and promotion of human rights in the country while encouraging impunity. We call on the government of Philippines to adhere to its international obligations and ensure justice and due process in accordance with its domestic laws as well as international human rights treaties to which the Philippines is party to.

We share the High Commissioner’s concerns at the Nepali government’s refusal of the OHCHR assistance. Despite the government’s claims of sufficient domestic human rights capacity, it has failed institute necessary mechanisms to ensure justice and accountability for allegations of torture and war crimes during the civil war. At the same time allegations of ongoing human rights abuses by the government continues to mount. In 2015, excessive use of force by security forces during the protests in the Terai resulted in at least 50 deaths. The government has also intensified the harassment of journalists and media. This year, two journalists were detained[2] on trumped up allegations while a prominent regional newspaper has been forced to suspend its publication due to pressure from the government[3]. We urge the government of Nepal to cooperate with the OHCHR and other UN mechanisms to ensure accountability for past crimes and prevent further deterioration of the human rights situation in the country.

Thank You Mr. President

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[1] http://www.rappler.com/nation/144894-death-toll-breaches-2000-ph-war-drugs

[2] http://www.forum-asia.org/?p=20604; http://www.forum-asia.org/?p=20737

[3] http://www.forum-asia.org/?p=2142