It’s time to assess achievements and failures of UNHRC: India

Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey India's approach to global promotion and protection of human rights is based on its own experience as an inclusive and pluralistic society

"Our Constitution has enshrined basic human rights as fundamental rights," said the Indian ambassador | File Photo: Twitter

India on Friday said it is time to assess the achievements and failures of the Human Rights Council and deliberate on the ways to strengthen and reform the UN organ so as to help it achieve its objectives.

Responding to the oral update of High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet at the 46th Session of Human Rights Council, Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative of India, said the country’s approach to global promotion and protection of human rights is based on its own experience as an inclusive and pluralistic society and a vibrant democracy with a secular polity.

“Our Constitution has enshrined basic human rights as fundamental rights. Our watchful Parliament, independent judiciary, vibrant media and proactive civil society have contributed in full enjoyment of human rights by our people,” Pandey said.

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India’s approach to the Human Rights Council is guided by “our spirit of engagement, dialogue and consultation. We believe that promotion and protection of human rights is best pursued through dialogue, consultation and cooperation and provision of technical assistance and capacity building.

“As the Council completes 15 years, it is time to assess its achievements and failures and deliberate on the ways to strengthen and reform it so as to enable it to achieve its objectives,” he said.

Pandey pointed out that India’s abiding commitment to promotion and protection of human rights has been manifest in its strategy to deal with COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at saving both the lives and livelihoods.

“Guided by our commitment to the welfare of the entire humanity, we have provided, while meeting our own enormous requirements, essential medicines and equipment to more than 150 countries, mostly as grants and supplied vaccines as grants and allowed commercial export to various countries,” he said in his National Statement.

The imperative of achieving sustainable development for realisation of basic human rights cannot be over emphasised, he said.

As part of the country’s developmental agenda, it has undertaken targeted policy interventions to empower the marginalised and vulnerable sections of the society and to improve their access to education, housing, healthcare, social protection, basic services, employment and finances, the senior diplomat said.

As the worlds largest democracy, India continues to make every effort in ensuring sustainable development and enjoyment of basic human rights for all its citizens. “We have made tremendous progress in realisation of these twin and mutually reinforcing objectives. We hope that the Council and its institutions will appreciate the positive steps we have taken in realisation of these goals,” Pandey said.

Earlier this week, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, while addressing the High Level Segment of the 46th Session of Human Rights Council, emphasised that India has always played an active role in global promotion and protection of human rights.

“We believe that equal emphasis should be placed on both promotion and protection of human rights. Both are best pursued through dialogue, consultation and cooperation amongst States as well as technical assistance and capacity building. “We also believe that achievement of sustainable development goals will contribute to realisation and enjoyment of basic human rights,” he said.

As a member of the Human Rights Council, India remain committed to work together with fellow members of the Council to achieve consensus, Jaishankar said on Tuesday.

“We believe that violation of and gaps in implementation of human rights should be addressed in a fair and just manner, with objectivity, non-selectivity, transparency and with due respect to the principles of non-interference in internal affairs and national sovereignty,” the minister had said.


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