Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


UN Human Rights Council – 23rd Session

Item 10 General Debate

Statement by Australia, 12 June 2013

Australia welcomes the High Commissioner’s report on the progress of technical assistance and capacity-building for South Sudan in the field of human rights.

Australia acknowledges the steps the Government of South Sudan has taken to improve the human rights situation in the country, including the creation of its Human Rights Commission.

Australia remains concerned by violence against civilians, arbitrary arrest, the ongoing use of the death penalty and interference with the right to freedom of expression.

We therefore call on the Government of South Sudan to expedite ratification of all major human rights treaties and we look forward to progress on judicial reform and the realisation of the national human rights agenda.

Australia also thanks the High Commissioner for her report on the situation of human rights in Mali.

Australia welcomes the establishment of the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and its mandate to promote and defend human rights. Australia acknowledges the significant difficulties faced by the Government of Mali in improving the human rights situation in the country while combatting rebel groups.

We look forward to the imminent appointment of the Independent Expert on Mali continuing work to assist with different human rights challenges, including summary executions and extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, the use of torture and poor treatment of detained persons, sexual and gender based violence and violations of the rights of the child.

The 2013 elections mark an important step on the road to peace, and we call on the Government of Mali to facilitate the full exercise of the right to vote.