18 Dec 2008

Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Alexander Yakovenko: Russia ready for dialog in UN Human Rights Council

Russia expects the UN Human Rights Council will give an unbiased assessment of the situation with human rights in Russia, Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Alexander Yakovenko said.

"We view this procedure as very important for all countries. It is no secret that the U.S. State Department reports on human rights have a political bias. Now various countries will be able to get a more unbiased assessment of the human rights situation," Yakovenko told Interfax on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

"The procedure of the universal periodic review means that the central human rights body of the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Council, regularly assesses the situation with human rights in every UN member-state and makes recommendations for its improvement. This mechanism was founded in 2006 jointly with the UN Human Rights Council to become a function of the Council. The review began its work in 2008," he said.

According to the rules of the review developed by the UN Human Rights Council the nation under the procedure should prepare and present in advance a national report reflecting the situation in the human rights.

"This report should be prepared by the authorities in active cooperation with the civil society. Russia presented its report a month ago and now is expecting its turn. We are ready to conduct a constructive dialog on all aspects of human rights," Yakovenko said.

Russia sees human rights as very important, he said.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination discussed the Russian report, he said.