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Zimbabwe: Politics and Government

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the United Nations on democracy in Zimbabwe. (142461)

The Government's concern relating to human rights abuses, governance and democracy in Zimbabwe were most recently raised this week at the fifth session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The EU and UK asked a number of questions of the UN special rapporteurs on the rights to food and housing concerning the impact of the denial of both for the human and political rights of ordinary Zimbabweans. In March, 50 UN member states supported a statement at the Human Rights Council by the EU presidency, on behalf of all EU member states, expressing concern at the situation in Zimbabwe. The UK also continues to raise these concerns in dialogue with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, and to press for her and other UN rapporteurs to have access to Zimbabwe. Other recent discussions with the UN have taken place with senior officials in the Department for Humanitarian Affairs, following on from the briefing in March to the UN Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe which was given by the Office of the Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs at the UK's request. Our embassy in Harare is in regular discussion with the UN Development Programme Office regarding human rights, democracy and good governance.