Statement by India at the 40th Session of Human Rights Council (25 February - 22 March 2019) on Agenda Item 2: Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, delivered by Ambassador Rajiv K. Chander, Permanent Representative of India [07 March 2019, Geneva]

Statement by India at the 40th Session of Human Rights Council (25 February – 22 March 2019) on Agenda Item 2: Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, delivered by Ambassador Rajiv K. Chander, Permanent Representative of India [07 March 2019, Geneva]

Thank you Mr. President, Madam High Commissioner,

    We acknowledge the Oral Update by the High Commissioner.

Mr. President,

2. India’s efforts towards protection and promotion of human rights are second to none. This is reflected in the Constitution of India that guarantees its citizens fundamental political and civil rights and provides for the progressive realization and enforcement of economic, social and cultural rights.

Mr. President,

3. Terrorism is the most fundamental violation of human rights and we overlook it at our own peril.

4. Our views on the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir have been made abundantly clear in the Council. The whole State of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan remains in illegal occupation of a part of our territory.

5. The central problem is cross-border terrorism and Pakistan’s use of terrorism as an instrument of State policy. This fact needs due recognition. We firmly believe that UN led consensus on zero tolerance on terrorism is as much an international obligation as it is a commitment to our own people. We all need to unequivocally condemn terrorism and its perpetrators.

6. India is a secular State and safeguarding the rights of minorities forms an essential core of our polity. The Indian Constitution enshrines various provisions for the protection of rights and interests of the minorities. The State makes no distinction between caste, creed, colour or religion of a citizen.

7. Along with being the world’s largest democracy, Indian polity also weaves in immense diversity along with respect for tolerance and mutual understanding. An independent judiciary, free and vibrant media, and, a vocal civil society are all active in this regard within the legal framework of the State. National and State level Human Rights Commissions along with other specific Commissions continue to monitor complaints from minority communities regarding issues of discrimination and disadvantage faced by them. The Government of India has issued Communal Harmony Guidelines which lay down Standard Operating Procedures to deal with communal violence.

8. India remains committed towards meaningful engagement with the Council.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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