Friday, November 23, 2007


Commonwealth Human Rights Forum Recommends suspension of Pakistan from Commonwealth

After two days the Commonwealth Human Rights Forum came out with a Concluding Statement and Recommendation. Find pasted below some of the key recommendations of the forum. To read the whole statement and recommendations of the Commonwealth Human Rights Forum, please read the document in pdf format attached with this mail.


· The immediate suspension of Pakistan from the councils of the Commonwealth, investigation into The Gambia, and Commonwealth engagement with the people of Zimbabwe.

· Commonwealth governments should recommend that CMAG remain seized with the situation in Fiji and engage with all political parties to ensure early elections and the restoration of the independence of the judiciary and fundamental freedoms.

· An Expert Group on Policing should be established to develop best practice guidelines on all aspects of policing, training and in order to monitor police practices across the Commonwealth.

· Commonwealth governments must comply with past human rights commitments and, in order to ensure such compliance, establish a formal mechanism to monitor compliance with such commitments.

· The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) should devise a formal system for consulting with civil society.

· Ensuring that the procedure the UNHRC adopts for Universal Peer Review should be independent and meaningful, with appropriate participation of experts (and not merely by other member states).

· Commonwealth governments should work actively to ensure the adoption of and effective implementation of Access to Information laws in order to enable democratic participation.

· Commonwealth governments should revisit the Commonwealth’s election monitoring role, including the examination of ways to strengthen such a role via civil society consultations.

· Commonwealth governments must ensure the independence of National Human Rights Institutions, and accord them due recognition including adequate resources, ensuring strict conformity with the Paris Principles.

· Commonwealth governments should work to develop Commonwealth best practices around freedom of information.

· The Commonwealth should uphold previous commitments to enabling space for civil society participation.

· The Commonwealth should call on Uganda to exercise special leadership as it takes the chair of the Commonwealth to improve its human rights record including the protection of civil society space,

· Commonwealth governments should sign, ratify and implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities to realise their potential.

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