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High Commissioner for Human Rights on the activities of his Office and recent human rights developments
March 15,2017   By:UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights on the activities of his Office and recent human rights developments

Annual Report and Oral Update to the 34th session of the Human Rights Council
 
8 March 2017
 
Distinguished President of the Human Rights Council,
 
Excellencies,
 
Colleagues and Friends,
 
"We the peoples, determined to reaffirm faith... in the equal rights of men and women" – taken from the Preamble of the UN Charter. Today we celebrate the courage and strength of women's movements, all over the world, in pursuit of equality. The rights to education, to work, to the vote – above all, to make their own decisions. Their achievements have been momentous, and the movement is an extraordinary one, as was demonstrated by the marches of the 21st of January. I salute their efforts, especially given the scale of challenges women still face around the world, which I have addressed in a statement I have issued for International Women's Day. I trust all delegations will give it close attention.
 
Mr President, 
 
I would like to begin my statement by highlighting a number of countries where, despite very different human rights situations, I am happy to commend certain trends.
 
In The Gambia, I applaud the principled actions of members of ECOWAS in supporting a peaceful conclusion to the Presidential election in December, at a time when so many other world leaders seem determined to remain in power at any cost. After years of repression of civil society, opposition parties and the media, incoming President Adama Barrow has publicly committed to upholding human rights in a broad range of reforms, including his decision for Gambia to remain a party to the International Criminal Court and his commitment to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
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