Pakistan’s UPR: “With a little help from my friends”

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is often demonstrated as one of the Human Rights Council’s success stories. Indeed, it can have an impact when countries want to listen, learn from the peers and improve their human rights record. However, where this process fails is with the worse abusers. As we have showed in a 100-page report, the UPR regularly becomes a “Mutual Praise Society.” In January, the UAE celebrated its human rights record long before the review started. Similarly, last week Pakistan rallied its friends to defend its record and monopolize the discussion, a déjà-vu from its initial review. The list of speakers and their statements are revealing (the UK was the only Western country to take the floor).

Indonesia: Indonesia, in particular, welcomes the government’s various legal, institutional, and administrative initiatives on the advancement of women.

Iran: The Islamic Republic of Iran commends the active participation of Pakistan in the UPR process and acknowledges its constructive engagement with the Council by accepting many recommendations made to it.

Malaysia: Malaysia wishes to commend the delegation of Pakistan for its transparent and forthcoming engagement in the UPR process. We are further heartened by the responses provided by Pakistan concerning the government’s commitment to human rights and its ratification of almost all international human rights instruments as well as the improvements in the areas of education, health, housing, social welfare and the empowerment of women, among others.

Morocco: My delegation wishes to express its appreciation for the efforts of Pakistan to help vulnerable categories of its population, in particular women and persons with disabilities to realize their rights.

Myanmar: Myanmar wishes to express its appreciation to Pakistan for its constructive and active participation in the second cycle of the UPR process.

Philippines: The Philippines welcomes Pakistan’s continued adherence to the protection of human rights for its people despite severe economic and human resource constraints.

Qatar: We appreciate everything that has been done by Pakistan in its attempts to protect fundamental rights and freedoms despite the difficulties encountered.

Russia: The second cycle of Pakistan before the UPR mechanism has again reaffirmed that the authorities in the country are making every possible effort to improve national mechanisms to protect and promote human rights.

Saudi Arabia: Pakistan accepted practically all recommendations submitted to it. Pakistan has proven its willingness to cooperate on an ongoing basis contending human rights.

Sri Lanka: My delegation acknowledges and appreciates Pakistan’s constructive, transparent, and proactive engagement during the second cycle of the UPR in keeping with the spirit of the UPR process.

Sudan: We would like to welcome Pakistan’s commitment to the work of this UPR.

Thailand: Thailand warmly welcomes the delegation of Pakistan to the adoption of UPR outcome today and thanks them for their statement.

United Kingdom: The UK welcomes Pakistan’s commitment to the UPR process.

United Arab Emirates: My country pays tribute to the efforts made by Pakistan to inculcate a human rights culture as well as a culture of fundamental freedoms through the measures adopted by Pakistan in all spheres including safeguarding the dignity of human beings and equality of opportunities for all.

Venezuela: Venezuela would like to express its deep appreciation for the presentation provided today by Pakistan. Its government has provided credible demonstration of its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, engaging in open cooperation with the UPR mechanism.

The remaining countries that could not take floor due to time constraints were Brunei Darussalam, Azerbaijan, China, Cuba, and Ecuador.

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