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HRC – Report of the UPR Working Group on Guinea Bissau
May 7, 2010

UN Human Rights Council

Consideration of UPR Reports
Report of the UPR Working Group on Guinea Bissau

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
May 7, 2010

Thank you Mr. President:

Allow me to take advantage of our translators this morning to greet the delegation in Portugese before continuing our intervention in English.

Os Estados Unidos saúdam cordialmente Sua Excelência o Senhor Mamadu Saliu Jalo Pires e a delegação de Guiné-Bissau ao Grupo de Trabalho do EPU. Os Estados Unidos, agradeçem ao ministro e sua delegação por a sua participação no grupo de trabalho e pelas informações prestadas no relatório nacional e sua apresentação de hoje.

(The United States welcomes his excellency Mr. Mamadu Saliu Jalo Pires and the Bissau-Guinean delegation to the Working Group of the UPR. The United States thanks the Minister and his delegation for their participation in the Working Group and for the information provided in the national report and its presentation today.)

The United States denounces the April 1 kidnapping and detention of the Prime Minister, Chief of Defense, and others by rogue elements of the military, calls for the unconditional release of those still being held illegally, and calls for the armed forces to respect civilian control of the military, which is key to peace, stability, and prosperity. We recommend all parties resolve their differences peacefully within the country’s constitutional and legal framework.

The United States remains deeply concerned by the March 2009 assassinations of former president Vieira and the former armed forces chief of staff, plus the assassinations of a member of parliament and a presidential candidate in June 2009. Taking into account the encouraging statements made by the delegation this morning, we recommend that the Government address impunity by providing the required resources for the established Commission of Inquiry to conduct credible and transparent investigations of these crimes.

The United States commends Guinea-Bissau for its February 25 adoption of a national plan of action to increase the participation of women in decision-making, in national and regional peace consolidation mechanisms, in UN peace operations, and political affairs. The United States recommends that the Government demonstrate its full commitment to implementation of the plan by providing the necessary human and financial resources and clear, authoritative mandates to the relevant governmental institutions and mechanisms. The United States also remains concerned about domestic violence and the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). The United States recommends the Government develop and adopt comprehensive strategies to address all forms of violence against women, and raise educational awareness to eliminate FGM. In addition, the United States continues to be concerned about the trafficking of persons from Guinea-Bissau, in particular children for the purpose of forced begging in neighboring countries. The United States recommends that the Government develop comprehensive strategies and public awareness campaigns to address this issue.

Thank you