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Human Rights

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government’s policy is on the United Nations General Assembly passing resolutions on human rights in individual states or territories. (171394)

The Government consider that the UN General Assembly (UNGA) has a responsibility to address situations of human rights violations in particular countries. We believe that the most effective means of improving such situations is through a co-operative relationship between the UN human rights machinery and the Government of the relevant country. However, where the situation is of serious concern and where the Government in question refuses to co-operate or to make use of the support offered to them by the UN human rights mechanisms, it is entirely appropriate for the UNGA or the UN Human Rights Council to express concern over the situation through a resolution, if necessary without the support of the country concerned. The Government worked very actively with European Union and other partners to secure the recent adoption of resolutions by the UNGA Third Committee on the situations in Iran, Burma, Belarus and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.