India has termed the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) an effective and visible instrument for the promotion and protection of human rights.

Delivering India’s National Statement under Agenda on UPR on Monday at the 43rd Session of the UNHRC, Vimarsh Aryan, First Secretary, India’s permanent mission to United Nation’s Office at Geneva (UNOG), said the country strongly believes that the UPR mechanism should not be “tinkered” with, as any such attempt carries the potential of diluting the universal support that it currently enjoys.
“It is our firm belief that the UPR mechanism is an effective and visible instrument for the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he said.

“The primacy that UPR mechanism gives to the member states vis a vis final decision on the recommendations, taking into account their respective social, political and economic circumstances and the conduct of the overall review in an objective, transparent, non-selective, constructive, non-confrontational and non-politicized manner are key to the universal acceptance of the UPR mechanism,” he added.

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India also said that “the practice of encouraging Member States to focus on a particular set of rights is counterproductive.”

The UPR, a State-driven process under the auspices of the UNHRC, is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. It provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.

Aryan said that India also takes positive note of the role of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR ) in the conduct of the Universal Periodic Review.

Noting that time allotted for the universal periodic review has restricted states from having fruitful exchange of views, Aryan said the review of the HRC should allot more hours to the UPR process to address this asymmetry.

“It is clear that the time allotted for universal periodic review has restricted states from having fruitful exchange of views. This is also contrary to the practice of allotting fixed and reasonable time to states and other stakeholders in the sessions of the Council,” Aryan said.

“India proposes that the review of the HRC should allot more hours to the UPR process to address this asymmetry,” he added.

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