Statement by H.E. Mr. Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN at the General Debate of the Third Committee of the 73rd Session of the UNGA on Agenda Item 69: Report of the Human Rights Council on 02 November 2018 at UNHQ, New York
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Bangladesh delegation thanks the President of the Human Rights Council for his informative report. We thank him for his services at the helm of the Council.
Bangladesh takes careful note of the work done by HRC during the reporting period. We had the privilege to be elected to the Council for the next three years, and will make the best possible efforts to help take forward the work. We believe HRC has built a useful legacy over the last 20 years, and has the potential to effectively contribute to the work on one of the three fundamental pillars of the UN. We are encouraged by HRC’s sustained efforts to address issues of emerging concern in the human rights domain and to give coverage to vulnerable segments of the society. The work concluded on promoting and protecting the rights of peasants has been a useful contribution. We urge members of General Assembly to give due regard to the work and language agreed by HRC.
We attach importance to the UPR process, as manifest from our delegation’s constructive engagement in its preparation, consultation, presentation and follow-up processes during the 3rd cycle. Bangladesh will remain committed to progressively implementing the recommendations it has accepted, and will also remain seized with those we had not. UPR has emerged as an effective mechanism for promoting Member States’ compliance with their human rights obligations, and deserved to be improved upon to help attain its desired objectives.
Bangladesh also remains committed to cooperating with the Special Procedure mandate holders. In the last one year, we have had extensive cooperation with the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Myanmar and the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar in the tragic aftermath of the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. We have engaged with other Special Procedures mandate holders in relation to their statements and comments on certain human rights situations in Bangladesh. We respect the views expressed by Special Procedure mandate holders and make efforts to convey our views and position on the concerned issues for their understanding. Bangladesh objects to any abusive or denigrating treatment of the mandate holders, and would urge all concerned not to cast aspersions on the individuals rendering services as mandate holders. Bangladesh regrets that the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Myanmar has been denied access to Myanmar, and on certain occasions has been the target of vicious personal attacks. We also consider it unfortunate that Myanmar raised questions about the objectivity of the Fact Finding Mission’s authoritative and evidence-based reports while denying access to the Mission to its territory.
We have always maintained that accountability is a critical aspect for restoring confidence among the Rohingyas for their return. While our constant efforts and readiness for repatriation is about to see fruition, accountability will be crucial for the repatriation to continue in the long run; it is an imperative for sustainable implementation of the bilateral instruments. Here the Third Committee has an important role to play. We also expect Myanmar, in addition to carrying out their national judicial process in an impartial manner, to positively respond to the call of the international community for instituting international accountability mechanisms.
Bangladesh recognizes the role of the civil society in promoting and protecting human rights for all, and underscores the importance of constructive engagement among Member States and civil society. We stand opposed to any form of reprisal against civil society actors for their engagements with HRC. Our Government remains committed to ensuring the freedom of expression.
Finally, Bangladesh takes positive note of the work being done to further improve HRC’s working methods. We believe there is scope for making improvements in all three areas as identified by the Chair and the Bureau.
I thank you.