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Zimbabwe: Human Rights

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been taken by her Department to raise the issue of Zimbabwe at (a) the United Nations Security Council and (b) other United Nations bodies; what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of these efforts; and if she will make a statement. (129484)

My right hon. Friend the Minister for Trade, condemned the government of Zimbabwe in his speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 13 March. While there, he also discussed the situation with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who herself has made a statement. Our Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva also raised Zimbabwe at the Human Rights Council on 14 March. In response to our concerns, the UN High Commissioner agreed to monitor the judicial process directed against Mr. Tsvangarai and his colleagues. We are also pressing for further action in the UN Human Rights Council.

We have welcomed the statement made by the UN Secretary-General. On 16 March, our Permanent Representative to the UN in New York raised Zimbabwe with the Secretary-General and Security Council ambassadors. As a result, the Secretary-General has agreed to arrange an urgent briefing on the humanitarian situation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether she has had discussions with the New Partnership for African Development on whether Zimbabwe has been (a) through the Partnership’s peer review mechanism and (b) assessed for its human rights record. (130511)

Zimbabwe has not been examined under the New Partnership for African Development peer review process, this is a voluntary process. But the Africa Commission on People and Human Rights has been asked to report on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe at a future session of the African Union’s Executive Council.