Press release on the High-Level Segment of the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council

Monday, 05 March 2018 10:15

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has attended the High-Level Segment of the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) which has ended in Geneva.

In his speech, Sergey Lavrov outlined Russia’s approaches to current issues of the international human rights agenda. He emphasised Russia’s unconditional rejection of the practice of politicising human rights encouragement and protection issues, and employing them as a pretext for imposing unilateral restrictive measures against a number of states. He noted that Western countries’ attempts to impose their approaches to human rights provoke conflicts and splits, and hamper collective efforts aimed at protecting human rights and upholding the timeless moral values shared by the basic religions and civilisations.

The Russian Foreign Minister expressed concern over several HRC member countries’ attempts to politicise the Council’s work, hindering unified efforts to find effective solutions to shared problems for the benefit of everyone, and to ensure genuine respect for human dignity and value.

Mr Lavrov called attention to the fact that certain countries are pointedly unprepared to unequivocally condemn international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations under the pretext of protecting freedom of expression. He stressed that the fight against terrorism must be conducted on the solid basis of national and international law. In this context, he expressed deep concern over the US decision to keep open the Guantanamo detention centre.

The Russian Foreign Minister noted the alarming growth in manifestations of racism, aggressive nationalism and religious intolerance around the world. He condemned the Baltic states’ continuing attempts to rewrite the outcome of World War II and glorify Nazi henchmen and pointed out further degradation in the human rights situation in Ukraine.

Referring to the situation in Syria, Mr Lavrov emphasised in particular UN Security Council Resolution 2401 (2018), which created a framework for the agreement of all parties to ease the lives of civilians across the country.

Overall, the High-Level Segment of the 37th Session of the HRC once again confirmed the high degree of politicisation of this leading human rights body’s work in the UN system. Open confrontation, its regular use as a tool for implementing populist schemes and the flourishing practice of double standards seriously discredit not only the Council itself, but also the idea of human rights per se, stripping it of its unifying principles.

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