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Human Rights Affairs Minister Holds Meeting with the New Human Rights Council President
01 : 43 AM - 02/03/2013

Geneva, Mar. 1. (BNA) – Human Rights Affairs Minister Dr. Salah bin Ali Abdulrahman and Head of the kingdom’s delegation to the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), currently held here, met with the new President of the UNHRC Ambassador Remigiusz Achilles Henczel.

According to a statement issued by the Human Rights Affairs Ministry, Dr. Salah congratulated Mr. Henczel on the new post and lauded the advanced level of the communication and coordination relations between the Ministry and the Human Rights Council, asserting that Bahrain is among the main supporters of the UN mechanisms in all fields, especially the human rights one.

He pointed out that the kingdom was the first country to have its human rights record subjected to the Universal Periodic Review in 2008 and has set the example for other countries in this regard.

The Minister also underscored the kingdom’s advanced and professional political and human rights practices, citing the establishment of the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR), an independent body committed to the Paris principles, the efforts of non-governmental human rights organisations to promote the human rights culture, the efforts of the Representatives and Shura councils to update the human rights legislations, the establishment of a human rights committee in each of them and the setting up of a High Coordinating Committee for Human Rights Affairs.

The statement added that Dr. Salah informed the UNHRC President that the kingdom is currently witnessing a continuation of the National Consensus Dialogue on the political theme, with the participation of the key political segments in the country, noting that the dialogue was called for by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in order to continue the democratic march, consolidate efforts to enhance security, stability and prosperity and bring about more democratic, human rights, economic and development reforms.

He also shed light on the Royal initiative to establish an Arab Human Rights Tribunal, widely appreciated by the member states of the Arab League, noting that the kingdom is looking forward to headquarter the court in order to consolidate its pioneering role in promoting human rights culture.

The statement also indicated that the UNHRC Chief Mr. Henczel thanked the Bahraini delegation for the information it provided about the human rights situation in the country and praised the tangible human rights developments in the kingdom, calling for the need to exert more efforts in order to promote human rights principles.

The statement also said that the Bahraini delegation, led by Dr. Salah Ali, met with the Special Representative of the European Union for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis.

During the meeting, Dr. Salah affirmed the importance of strengthening the existing friendship and cooperation ties between Bahrain and the European Union.

He also invited Mr. Lambrinidis to visit the kingdom in order to updated on the human rights situation and hold meetings with all the concerned human rights sides.

He also affirmed the importance of signing partnership agreements of cooperation and coordination between the Human Rights Affairs Ministry and the relevant sides in the European Union in order to consolidate the institutional capacities of the human rights workers in the kingdom.

According to the statement, the Minister praised the deep-rooted European experience in the field of human rights, and affirmed Bahrain’s keenness to embrace successful human rights experiences, citing the establishment of the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) as an independent body run by experienced and eminent members and working according to the Paris principles.

He also highlighted the kingdom’s on-going efforts to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), explaining that all state bodies have accelerated the implementation process through the concerned constitutional and legal tools.

The statement added that Mr. Lambrinidis praised the meeting and lauded the human rights developments taking place in the kingdom recently, calling for the need to exert more efforts in this regard.

He also expressed the European Union’s readiness to provide the kingdom with all the needed support in order to promote the human rights principles further.

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