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30th Session of the Human Rights Council, 14.09 to 02.10.2015 - Interventions by Greece

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

HRC-30 - UPR Outcome of the United States of America Intervention by Greece

Thank you Mr President,

As we have stated during the review of the United States in May, Greece appreciates the US commitment to constantly improve implementation of their human rights obligations. The multiple but effective mechanisms that provide for regular review of US federal and state laws and policies, are a clear example of this commitment.

The national report submitted before the 2nd UPR cycle touched upon all recommendations of the first cycle and contained references to concrete examples on their implementation. Such practices contribute to the further strengthening of the UPR process and enhancing its added value within the UN system. We are convinced that the same practices will apply for the implementation of the recommendations made to the US for the 2nd cycle. In this context, we are pleased to hear that the US has accepted a big part of the recommendations made by States during the review last May.

We also appreciate the openness and wide process of consultation including with civil society for the preparation of the national report. We are certain that the implementation process of the recommendations will take into full account the results of such consultations.

Finally, we welcome the repealing of capital punishment law by three states as well as the overall steady decline in the number of executions since the last UPR. We hope that these developments will eventually lead to an official moratorium on executions toward the complete abolition of the death penalty throughout the country.

Thank you Mr President


30th Session of the Human Right Council ID with the Advisory Committee - 22 September 2015
Intervention of the main sponsors of the Resolution on Promoting Human Rights through Sport and the Olympic Ideal

Thank you Mr President,

I am delivering this statement on behalf of the main sponsors of the resolution entitled 'Promoting Human Rights through Sport and the Olympic Ideal', namely Brazil, Congo, Cyprus, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and my own country Greece.

We would like to thank the Advisory Committee for delivering its final report on this topic. The report touches upon a number of important issues and contains a set of recommendations which need further reflection. These issues include, among others, the significance of education and capacity building, the fight against discrimination on all grounds, mega events and human rights, business and public-private partnership on human rights and sport, incorporating sport to conflict prevention activities and peacebuilding, the role of media in sport and human rights as well as sport and sustainable development. We also note with interest the reference to the increasing number of impressive academic multidisciplinary sport research which also merits further attention.

Mr President

As the Advisory Committee rightly points out in its report, widening the possibilities of using sport and the Olympic Ideal to promote and strengthen universal respect for human rights for all, requires sustained efforts by all stakeholders.

The Human Rights Council, through its recent resolutions on this topic, which gathered the support of more than 130 States, is actively engaged in promoting human rights through Sport and the Olympic Ideal. As main sponsors of this Resolution we are indeed convinced of the valuable contribution of sport in promoting education, development, peace, cooperation, solidarity, fairness, social inclusion, health, and other important areas of human activity. Moreover, we acknowledge the contribution of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the Youth Olympic Games in inspiring youth, through integrated sports and educational activities.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to assure the Council that we will continue our efforts to raise awareness and build the widest possible consensus on this matter.

Thank you Mr President

30th Session of the Human Right Council ID with the Advisory Committee - 22 September 2015
Intervention of the main sponsors of the Resolution on Promoting Human Rights through Sport and the Olympic Ideal

Thank you Mr President,

I am delivering this statement on behalf of the main sponsors of the resolution entitled 'Promoting Human Rights through Sport and the Olympic Ideal', namely Brazil, Congo, Cyprus, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and my own country Greece.

We would like to thank the Advisory Committee for delivering its final report on this topic. The report touches upon a number of important issues and contains a set of recommendations which need further reflection. These issues include, among others, the significance of education and capacity building, the fight against discrimination on all grounds, mega events and human rights, business and public-private partnership on human rights and sport, incorporating sport to conflict prevention activities and peacebuilding, the role of media in sport and human rights as well as sport and sustainable development. We also note with interest the reference to the increasing number of impressive academic multidisciplinary sport research which also merits further attention.
Mr President

As the Advisory Committee rightly points out in its report, widening the possibilities of using sport and the Olympic Ideal to promote and strengthen universal respect for human rights for all, requires sustained efforts by all stakeholders.

The Human Rights Council, through its recent resolutions on this topic, which gathered the support of more than 130 States, is actively engaged in promoting human rights through Sport and the Olympic Ideal. As main sponsors of this Resolution we are indeed convinced of the valuable contribution of sport in promoting education, development, peace, cooperation, solidarity, fairness, social inclusion, health, and other important areas of human activity. Moreover, we acknowledge the contribution of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the Youth Olympic Games in inspiring youth, through integrated sports and educational activities.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to assure the Council that we will continue our efforts to raise awareness and build the widest possible consensus on this matter.

Thank you Mr President


30th Session of the Human Rights Council - Item 2 Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights Intervention by Greece

Thank you Mr President.

We would like to thank the High Commissioner for his substantial update and thoughtful insights on a series of thematic and country related issues.

On migration, I would like to start with numbers. In the past 8 months inflows to Greece mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq have reached more than 240.000 persons comparing to 77.000 in 2014 and 43.000 in 2013. These flows consist primarily of refugees (75%).

Despite this unprecedented migratory and refugee crisis and the significant financial constraints due to the economic crisis, our country has managed -in an extremely short period of time-to address many issues on different operational levels by taking concrete measures, which I will not list here. The efforts of the authorities have been complemented by the moral support and sacrifices of ordinary people and civil society who have received the praise of high officials at the international level as well as international press and media.

However, the effective handling of mixed refugee and migratory groups, while fully respecting human rights, remains a constant challenge for the competent Greek authorities taking into account the insufficient means at their disposal. Rest assured that the government and the people are doing and will continue to do their best to cope with this situation and ensure the full protection of human rights at any time and for each and every individual.

Mr High Commissioner,

We have been arguing for so long in this Council and elsewhere that this issue requires collective action at a regional and international level as well as enhanced cooperation between the countries of origin, transit and destination. We believe that time has come to seek effective solutions over and beyond the blame game. An immediate political solution in Syria and generally a sincere discussion and the identification of the root causes of this phenomenon, would facilitate our common task.

In this respect, we would like to reiterate our proposal for the'Tield presences of the OHCHR and the Special Procedures to provide their input on migratory flows through the human rights angle and share best practices or flaws.

We will continue to work closely with your Office on this and all other
issues of common concern.

Thank you Mr President

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
30th Session ID with the Commission of Inquiry on Syria 21 September 2015 Intervention by Greece Thank you Mr President,
Greece aligns itself with the Statement delivered by the European
Union.

We would like to thank the Commission of Inquiry for its latest report and for its ongoing work to document the widespread human rights violations and abuses in the Syrian Arab Republic committed by all parties to the conflict, with no exceptions.

We value all the above efforts of the Commission despite the fact that it has been denied acccss to Syria. We call on the Syrian authorities to grant, as a matter of urgency, to the Commission unhindered access to the country.

We join our EU and other colleagues in expressing deep concern at the spread of extremism and the absence of protection of the rights of the civilian population, in particular all ethnic, religious and other vulnerable groups, including Christian communities. In this connection, we strongly condemn the recent destruction of placcs of worship, historical monuments and archeological sites, and related killings perpetrated by ISIL. Unfortunately the findings in its separate report issued last November, on the role of ISIL and its inhuman practices in Syria, are still valid.

We would also like to refer with the utmost concern to the dramatically increasing number of IDPs as well as refugees towards Europe moslty through Greece. It is not the first time in history that Greece welcomes refugees from the Middle East and particularly Syria and the Greek people is showing once again its solidarity to the people in need. Depsite the current economic and social contstraints faced by the Greek society, and the lack of means, the authorities are doing their best through concrete measures to address this unprecedented situation.

Mr President,

A viable political solution to the Syrian conflict is now more needed than ever. We hope that this can be achieved soon through the renewed efforts of the UNSG Special Envoy Mr Staffan de Mistura which we fully support.
Thank you Mr President

Annual Discussion on Integration of Gender Perspective throughout the work of the Human Rights Council and that of its mechanisms
15 September 2015
Intervention by Greece

Mr. President, distinguished panelists,

Greece aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

We welcome the discussion on integrating the gender perspective with a focus on gender parity.

As previous speakers, we would also like to stress the significance of ensuring that a gender perspective is taken into account in the work of the Human Rights Council both country specific and thematic, as a way of strengthening the promotion and protection of universal human rights for all.

As to the issue of gender equality in the selection and appointment of special procedure mandate holders, we can confirm, as members of the Consultative Group for the current year, that due consideration is given to gender equality in the selection and appointment of special procedure mandate holders. This is evident from the results achieved so far which have been made public.

Likewise we hope that similar results will be achieved also as regards Treaty Bodies selection procedures.

Mr President, distinguished panelists,

We recognize that the promotion of substantive gender equality is a necessity, especially in times of economic and social crisis when women’s rights require additional protection and safeguarding. In Greece, despite budget constraints, a series of policies including concrete measures continue to be implemented in order to mainstream gender issues in all areas of social policy, political, economic and cultural life.

We are determined to continue in this path by constantly reviewing relevant policies in order to achieve the best possible results.

Thank you Mr President

HRC 30 - UPR Outcome Bulgaria Intervention by Greece 25 September 2015

Thank you Mr President,

Greece wishes to congratulate Bulgaria on the successful completion of its second UPR cycle. This process gave the opportunity to the Bulgarian Delegation to present the significant progress achieved in the enhancement of the already existing solid institutional framework in the field of protection of human rights. We particularly value the work of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination and the Ombudsman as well as other mechanisms in this area. We also commend the practice of establishing Working Groups on the follow-up process of the UPR recommendations of the first cycle. We are confident that this will be the case for the implementation of recommendations for the second cycle as well.

Greece also appreciates the progress achieved in the field of promoting equal opportunities between men and women. We welcome recent amendments strengthening the competences of the national Council on Gender Equality and regular multi-stakeholder public campaigns and initiatives aimed at raising the awareness of domestic violence. We note with satisfaction, that Bulgaria has accepted our recommendation in this area.

Finally, we would like to wish to our Bulgarian colleagues success in the implementation of the recommendations received and supported by Bulgaria during this cycle.

Thank you Mr President

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