Pakistan considers human rights as a foundational element of peaceful, inclusive and prosperous societies. As a founding member of the Human Rights Council and as an active member of both the erstwhile Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council for several terms (2006-2008, 2008-2011, 2013-15, 2018-2020 and 2021-2023). Pakistan has a strong track record in advancing universal respect for human rights.
Pakistan’s enduring commitment to the global human rights architecture dates back to the very inception of the United Nations. Pakistan delegation played a lead role during the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially the inclusion of article 16 for the equal rights of women and men to marry and to found a family.
Pakistan was among the early signatories of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and played a leading role in the decolonization of many African States in the 1950s and 1960s. Pakistan was also one of the co-initiators of the 1990 World Summit for Children, which led to the adoption of the landmark Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In keeping with this tradition, Pakistan has contributed to the work of the Human Rights Council with a view to strengthening dialogue, constructive engagement, consensus-building, impartiality and objectivity. Pakistan’s engagement with the Council is guided by its commitment to uphold, promote and safeguard human rights domestically and to advance universal respect for all human rights for all peoples and fulfillment of international human rights obligations.
Pakistan views human rights, development, rule of law and democracy as mutually reinforcing. As a party to major international human rights instruments, Pakistan has made steady progress across the entire spectrum of human rights including through enactment of legislation, forging supportive institutionalization and strengthening policy-related actions, including the National Action Plan for Human Rights.
Pakistan is a strong advocate for realization of the right to development, to enable all peoples to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy the dividends of development. Accordingly, Pakistan has prioritized mobilization of domestic resources and works towards mobilization of international cooperation and partnerships to realize this human right for everyone, everywhere.
Pakistan Mission has traditionally played an active role in raising awareness, advocating for and taking initiatives on countering disinformation and hatred towards Islamic faith, its adherents, revered personalities, holy scriptures and sites. Combating Islamophobia in all its forms remains a major area of priority for the Mission.
The United Nations Human Rights machinery is anchored in Geneva, which is host to the UN Human Rights Council, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Procedures Mandate Holders and Secretariat of major International Treaties on Human Rights.
The Mission represents Pakistan at the Human Rights Council and its subsidiary mechanisms; strongly advocates for its national positions and policies as well as universal adherence and implementation of human rights obligations. Pakistan’s approach towards the Human Rights Council is guided by TRUCE- Tolerance, Respect, Universality, Consensus-building and Engagement.
The Mission works closely with the UN human rights mechanisms i.e. the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures Mandate Holders.
Since the inception of the Universal Periodic Review, Pakistan has participated four times in the review process in 2008, 2012, 2017 and 2023. Pakistan has also been reviewed by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women- CEDAW (2007, 2013 & 2020), Committee Against Torture- CAT (2017), Human Rights Committee (2017) and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights- CESCR (2017).
The High Commissioner for Human Rights and a number of Special Procedures Mandate Holders have visited Pakistan as part of periodic interaction and cooperation with the human rights machinery.
The Pakistan Mission also acts as the Coordinator of the OIC Group in Geneva on Human Rights and in this capacity, works closely with OIC members in steering discussions, Group statements and negotiations on resolutions presented at the Human Rights Council.
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