In a 'milestone,' UN human rights agency to open office in Mexico

In a 'milestone,' UN human rights agency to open office in Mexico

Mary Robinson
In what it described as an "an important milestone," the United Nations human rights agency has reached an agreement with the Government of Mexico to open an office in the country to focus on such issues as torture, indigenous rights and the administration of justice.

Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who signed the accord yesterday with Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda, said the new office was part of an ambitious programme for her agency and Mexico.

"Our hope is that it will help the government and civil society analyze the human rights situation in depth so as to tackle the problems that still plague the country," said Mrs. Robinson, who was in Mexico on her third visit. "The commitment is there, but there will have to be implementation if we are to make a real difference in the lives of ordinary Mexicans."

The new rights office will work with the government and civil society to pinpoint problems and help lay down a national human rights programme.

The technical cooperation programme with Mexico will enter its second phase in August. Mrs. Robinson and President Vicente Fox signed an initial agreement in December 2000.