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Belarus challenges UN Human Rights Council performance

MINSK, 1 March (BelTA) - Resident Representative of Belarus in the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva Mikhail Khvostov expressed his judgement in interpreting the current state of affairs in the UN Human Rights Council while attending its 22nd session, BelTA learnt from the Foreign Ministry of Belarus.

Mikhail Khvostov led the Belarusian delegation at the session of the UN Human Rights Council which opened on 25 February and will run until 22 March.

The speech of the head of the Belarusian delegation took place as part of the Council’s high-level segment to assess the results of encouraging and protecting human rights following 20 years of the adoption of the Vienna declaration and Program of Action.

According Mikhail Khvostov, the international community had achieved some progress in many areas of the human rights agenda, for example concerning the issue of trafficking in human beings. With this, the Belarusian diplomat criticized the current state of affairs in the Human Rights Council pointing to some existing problems in this institution: selectiveness, polarization of views in respect to considering human rights at the local level, lack of information awareness regarding human rights issues in the countries which position themselves as “established democracies”, advancement of argumentative human rights concepts and others.

Belarus’ representative expressed his country’s readiness to assist in eliminating those shortcomings including through annual presentation of reports on high-profile cases of human rights violation in certain countries.

The first edition of the kind was presented to the participants of the session, including representatives of international non-governmental organizations and civil society that show high interest in the report of the Belarusian foreign political department. The report of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus was also handed over to UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay.