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Report of the UPR Working Group on Botswana
March 18, 2009

UN Human Rights Council Tenth Regular Session
Item 6 – Consideration of UPR Reports
Report of the UPR Working Group on Botswana

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Delivered by Mark Cassayre
March 18, 2009

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States commends the Government of Botswana for its commitment to democratic principles and appreciates Botswana’s leadership in promoting similar progress in the Southern African Development Community region and the continent as a whole.

The United States recognizes Botswana’s investment in improving health care for its citizens and its progress toward improving access to primary education and increased enrollment rates for its children, particularly for girls. We also commend the role women are playing in Botswana’s government and society and welcome implementation of the new domestic violence law. Increasing the access of women to development assistance and provision of better legal protections for women, including for rape, will help to consolidate the gains for women in Botswana.

The United States also notes the recent opening of dialogue with the San. We look forward to seeing further discussions with the San and other minority groups in order to better address land, education and development assistance issues.

We commend Botswana for its intent to improve its national capacity to promote and monitor human rights, including its efforts to address judicial delays. We support Botswana’s efforts to promote professionalization and human rights training for its security forces and its seeking of assistance in this area.

Thank you.