We supported the theme of the Tenth Minority Forum of “Minority Youth: towards inclusive and diverse societies”. The Minority Forum provided all stakeholders an opportunity to share best practices, views, experiences and concerns. It gave us a chance to listen to the youth which is important in designing policies for their well being. We agree with the recommendation of the report of the tenth Minority Forum that States should ensure an environment that fosters participation of minority youth in public life and should monitor the occurrence of hate speech, xenophobia and discrimination and take legal action against such abuses so that minority youth feel safe being visible in society.
- Pakistan is a multi-religious, multi-cultural, pluralistic society where people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds are living together. Equality of our citizens is guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution. Through various measures, the Government of Pakistan has striven to establish an inclusive society with all people living in harmony. To ensure participation of minorities in decision making, 10 seats in the National Assembly, 4 in the Senate and 23 in the Provincial Assemblies have been reserved for them. 11th August is celebrated as Minorities Day.
We consider that the focus of the Social Forum on right to health especially the access to medicines, diagnosis, vaccines and treatment was very pertinent and important. We agree with the conclusion of the report on Social Forum that fulfilling the right to health was one of the highest challenges faced by the international community. We support the conclusion that the Health-care workers are on the front line of the fight against epidemics and other diseases and must be given necessary training and equipment. The international community must join hands to remove all bottlenecks identified in the report of the Social Forum for the realization of right to health.
In the working of the Human Rights bodies and mechanisms, we must be guided by the principles of transparency, accountability, objectivity, impartiality, constructive dialogue and non politicization. The relevant mechanisms must adhere to their respective mandates and comply with Institutional Building Package. We support the UPR mechanism and consider it as one of the successes of the Council. UPR is a State driven process and must not be derailed by any stakeholder. We should follow UPR process as entailed in IB Package and refrain from introducing new unnecessary practices.