26 December 2013

Somalia: UN Expert Urges Government to Finalize Human Rights Roadmap

An independent United Nations expert today urged the Somali Government to finalize and carry out a human rights roadmap endorsed by the cabinet in August.

Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia Shamsul Bari said in a news release that the roadmap defines the Government's responsibilities and sets goals to be achieved in a short period of time.

"Finalizing it would demonstrate a sincere commitment by Government to rebuild the foundation and structures of human rights in Somalia," he stated.

Mr. Bari called on the country's new Prime Minister, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, and the international community to seize the opportunity to build a new Somalia where "the rule of law and the respect of human rights for all Somalis would be the norm."

The roadmap, an initiative proposed by Mr. Bari to the Somali authorities, is based on key human rights themes, each containing its own action plan to be implemented by ministries, and sets out a post-transition strategy running until 2015.

Stressing that the roadmap offers "a unique opportunity" for the advancement of human rights in Somalia, Mr. Bari advised the Government to consult with regional administrations and civil society organizations throughout the country to finalize it.

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

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