UN to develop human rights programme in Turkmenistan

UN to develop human rights programme in Turkmenistan

Louise Arbour
As the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights wrapped up an 11-day tour of Central Asia in Turkmenistan today, her office announced plans to assist the country’s Government on rights issues.

“The High Commissioner and the Government agreed to embark on developing, in close collaboration with UNDP (the UN Development Programme), a concrete and extensive technical assistance programme in the area of human rights,” according to a statement released in Ashgabat, the capital.

Ms. Arbour also welcomed recent reforms in the educational system, citing the increase in the number of school years offered to students, and praised the country’s ratification of most major human rights treaties and the submission of reports required under those pacts.

She said she encouraged the Government to establish an independent human rights institution, and to give special attention to the analysis of data concerning political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights, which would allow the Government and the international community to engage on further reforms in those areas.

During her 2-day visit to the country, Ms. Arbour met with President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, as well as ministers and justice officials.

She also met with UN Resident Coordinator Richard Young, locally-based diplomats and representatives of international and regional governmental organizations.

On her Central Asian tour, meant to increase her Office’s engagement in the region, Ms. Arbour also visited Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.