Statement by India at the First Intersessional Seminar on the Contribution of the Human Rights Council to the Prevention of Human Rights Violations(9-10 April 2019) under Panel 3: ‘The Universal Periodic Review preparation processes and reviews and the prevention of human rights violations’ delivered by Sh. Animesh Choudhury, First Secretary.[Geneva,9 April 2019]

Statement by India at the First Intersessional Seminar on the Contribution of the Human Rights Council to the Prevention of Human Rights Violations(9-10 April 2019) under Panel 3: The Universal Periodic Review preparation processes and reviews and the prevention of human rights violations delivered by Sh. Animesh Choudhury, First Secretary.[Geneva,9 April 2019]

 Thank You Chair,

At the outset, India would like to thank the panellists for their presentations.

2. India acknowledges the convening of this panel on a theme that is quite pertinent.

3. India believes that achieving human rights goals calls for constant dialogue, engagement and coordination amongst member states and other stakeholders. The UPR mechanism is conducive to such engagement among member states and other stakeholders. India continues to believe that the UPR mechanism is an effective and visible instrument for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. We also believe that it encourages member states to strengthen their human rights records and learn from the best practices of others.

4. There are two key elements that are keys to the universal acceptance of the UPR mechanism. First is the primacy that the UPR mechanism provides to the member states with regard to their final decisions on the recommendations, taking into account their respective social, political and economic circumstances. Second is the conduct of the review in an objective, transparent, non-selective, constructive, non-confrontational and non-politicized manner. However, there is still scope for further improvement of the UPR mechanism.

5. The time allotted for the universal periodic review has restricted states from having fruitful exchanges of views. Hence we propose that the review of the HRC should allot more hours to the UPR process to address this asymmetry.

6. The focus of the discussion should be on enhancing technical assistance and capacity building measures to the States on their request to address any challenge they face.The enhancement of State’s capacity through technical assistance and capacity building measures in consultation with, and with the consent of, the State concerned would contribute in the improvement of human rights situation on the ground. When it comes to implementation of the UPR recommendations, we believe that the national or domestic mechanisms remain best suited to translate them into concrete outcomes. The UPR mechanism, as such, should not be tinkered with, as any such attempt carries the potential of diluting the universal support that it currently enjoys. The practice of encouraging member states to focus on a particular set of rights is counterproductive.

7. The primacy of State’s voluntary involvement is central to the successful implementation of the UPR recommendations. The OHCHR should also prepare a list of best practices shared by member states in their UPR statements as well as offers of technical assistance. In order to achieve optimal use of the time allotted to HRC, meetings of a procedural nature should be discontinued in favour of a new methodology that focuses more on substantive discussions.

Thank You.

 
2019
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