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India’s statement delivered by Secretary (West), under Agenda Item 2: General Debate on Oral Update of the High Commissioner at the 48th Session of Human Rights Council (13 September – 08 October 2021)

September 14, 2021

Madam President,
Madam High Commissioner,


We take note of references to India in the oral update by the High Commissioner and express our disappointment over her unwarranted remarks on the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which do not reflect the ground reality.

2. India’s approach to global promotion and protection of human rights is based on our own experience as a pluralistic and inclusive society and vibrant democracy. We believe that promotion and protection of human rights are best pursued through dialogue, consultation and cooperation among States and through provision of technical assistance and capacity building. Any shortcomings in upholding human rights must be addressed in a transparent and impartial manner, anchored in respect for national sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of States.

Madam President,

3. India’s Constitution enshrines basic human rights as fundamental rights. Our Parliament, independent judiciary, vibrant media and civil society ensure full enjoyment of human rights by our people. We believe that achievement of Sustainable Development Goals will contribute to realization and enjoyment of basic human rights, and have therefore pursued inclusive and sustainable development to ensure a better life for our citizens. As part of our development agenda, we have undertaken targeted policy measures to empower the most vulnerable segments of society. Despite COVID-19 challenges, we continue to follow this approach by focusing our efforts on saving lives and livelihoods.

Madam President,

4. The situation in Afghanistan continues to be of grave concern. The UNSC Resolution 2593 should guide the international community’s approach to Afghanistan. It reaffirms the importance of upholding human rights including those of women, children and minorities, allowing safe passage for those wanting to leave Afghanistan and ensuring unhindered access for humanitarian assistance. The international community must stand with the people of Afghanistan in their desire to live in peace and dignity.

Madam President,

5. India has been at the forefront of global action and discourse on promotion and protection of human rights and will continue to do so. We are seeking re-election to the Human Rights Council for the term 2022-24. We look forward to the continued support of the UN Member States to India’s candidature.

6. I conclude by reiterating my delegation’s full support and cooperation in discharge of the Council’s mandate. We will continue our constructive engagement with the Council and the High Commissioner.

 

Thank you, Madam President.
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