GENERAL SEGMENT - 25th SESSION OF HUMAN RIGHT COUNCIL
[6 March 2014]
STATEMENT BY INDIA
1.Let me begin by congratulating you on your appointment as President of the Council. As a member of the Bureau, India assures you of our continued support in dealing with procedural and organizational matters of the Council. We take this opportunity to recognize the contribution of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to promoting and protecting human rights around the world.
2. India remains firmly wedded to the fundamental idea of expanding liberal space for human growth and empowerment. It is in this spirit that we served on the Human Rights Council so far, and have now presented our candidature for the Council for a renewed term during the period 2015-17.
3. India’s approach in the Council has been guided by its firm belief that promotion and protection of human rights can be best pursued through dialogue and cooperation. We continue to believe that the strength of the Human Rights Council lies in its adherence to the principles of universality, transparency, impartiality, objectivity, non-selectivity and constructive international dialogue and cooperation, and India would earnestly wish to promote such a vision. It is in our collective interest that the Council, a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly with the primary responsibility for Human Rights, embarks on a path of true realization of these principles.
4. As we move towards further deepening the Council’s work of expanding the normative framework on human rights, as well as its implementation on the ground, we should strive to identify more cooperative methods of realizing it, surely avoiding confrontationist approaches.
5. The Council has recently demonstrated that it can indeed react swiftly to deteriorating situation of human rights such as in the Central African Republic, and to address the challenges in a collaborative manner. We commend and support such initiatives. In this connection, we also lend our voice to the High Commissioner’s emphasis on continued vigilance, and to our collective responsibility to support such efforts. In such endeavors, we would like to emphasize the continued need for greater dialogue and cooperation, which alone can improve Council’s effectiveness and thus its credibility.
6. The Universal Periodic Review has, indeed, emerged as a positive, universal and transparent mechanism of the Council with participation of all stakeholders directly or indirectly promoting constructive and collaborative discussions. It is also significantly transforming our collective commitment to make a genuine difference to the situation of human rights on the ground. The Human Rights Council, should continuously strive to innovate in the direction of such participatory mechanisms for greater adherence of human rights law by Member States.
7. Mr. President, I wish to refer to the statement on 3 March, 2014 by Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy regarding two Italian marines in India. It is necessary to mention that the two Italian marines are accused of the killing of two poor and innocent Indian fishermen. The marines are not ‘captive’ but are on bail and are staying in the Italian Embassy in New Delhi. Their prosecution is currently pending due to Special Leave Petition filed by the Italian marines before the Supreme Court of India. The case is wrongfully portrayed as one of violation of human rights of the accused. The only human rights violation that has occurred is the right to life of the two innocent Indian fishermen.
8. In conclusion, Mr. President, we reiterate our firm commitment to continue to participate actively in the work of the Council with a view to enhancing its effectiveness, efficiency and responsiveness.