UN expert seeks open dialogue with Government and civil society in Belarus

1 November 2012

A United Nations independent expert today called on the Government and civil society of Belarus to engage in an open dialogue with him to promote and protect human rights in the country.

“I would like to invite the Belarusian authorities, state institutions and civil society to enter into an open dialogue with me on human rights issues confronting the country,” said the new Special Rapporteur on Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, who assumed his mandate today.

“In my professional life, I had several opportunities to constructively cooperate with the Government and civil society of Belarus. This experience fills me with hope that the mandate will be used by all stakeholders as a good opportunity to effectively address human rights concerns in Belarus,” he said.

Mr. Haraszti noted that as a first step he would request a meeting with the Government to discuss ways to facilitate the fulfilment of his mandate and keep communication channels open with authorities and relevant stakeholders.

“I hope to assist the Government and people of Belarus in improving the human rights situation in the country in line with international human rights norms,” Mr. Haraszti added.

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

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