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UPR of Macedonia and of Vanuatu – Statements at the HRC
May 12, 2009

Statements by the United States of America

UPR of Macedonia

May 12, 2009

Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you to the delegation from Macedonia for your presence here today and for your engagement with the UPR process.  The United States would like to offer the following question and recommendation.

We would like to ask, what is Macedonia doing to address the roots of ethnic violence and foster tolerance and respect for ethnic diversity?

The United States recommends that Macedonia focus more resources on ethnic reconciliation with school aged children to foster tolerance and appreciation for diversity in the next generation.

We thank you in advance for your response.  Thank you, Mr. President.

UPR of Vanuatu

May 12, 2009

Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you to the delegation of Vanuatu for your thorough report and for traveling to be with us here, today.  We look forward to this discussion with you.  The United States would like to pose two questions and recommendations.

First, we understand Vanuatu aspires to become a party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.  How does the government of Vanuatu specifically plan to improve accountability and transparency in the public sector?

The United States recommends that Vanuatu allocate more funding to the Ombudsman to allow for more aggressive prosecution of corruption cases.  The United States also recommends that Vanuatu amend the judicial rules so that the
Ombudsman’s reports are more easily admissible in court.

Second, on December 1, 2008, Vanuatu detainees published a report on the alleged abuse of human rights by Correctional Services officers and the police.  These included a wide variety of alleged violations, from unlawful arrest and custody, inhuman treatment and denial of the right to life, to poor living conditions and denial of access to medical and legal professionals, as well as instances of adult prisoners and juveniles sharing the same facility.  In response, the Ministry of Justice and Social Welfare appointed a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the allegations. When will the Commission conclude its study, and how will the government of Vanuatu implement its recommendations?

The United States recommends that Vanuatu ensure a thorough and timely investigation by the Ministry of Justice and Social Welfare of the allegations in the detainee report and subsequently reform the practices of the Correctional Services officers and police forces as needed.

Thank you in advance for your response to these questions.  We do hope that the UPR process is a helpful one in your pursuit of better protection of human rights in Vanuatu.  Thank you, Mr. President.