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Deputy UN rights chief set to visit central Asia

Deputy UN rights chief set to visit central Asia

A top United Nations rights official is headed to Kazakhstan and four other Central Asian countries where he will reopen high-level discussions on the promotion and protection of human rights.

Bertrand Ramcharan, Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, will begin his official two-week visit to Central Asia on Tuesday. In addition to Kazakhstan, he is scheduled to follow up Secretary-General Kofi Annan's recent trip to the region with visits to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

In order to enhance dialogue and technical cooperation between the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and these countries, Mr. Ramcharan will be focusing on the implementation of international human rights conventions and norms.

In each country, Mr. Ramcharan has requested to meet with high-level Government officials, including the Ministers for foreign affairs, justice, and education. He has also asked to meet with the presidents of the supreme and constitutional courts, and heads of national human rights institutions.

He will meet with various non-governmental organizations, representatives of international organizations, the diplomatic community and the UN country teams.