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Council unanimously adopts outcome of UPR on Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa, September 20, 2019 (FBC) -The 42nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) unanimously adopted the decision on the outcome of the Universal Periodic Report (UPR) on Ethiopia.

The Universal Periodic Review is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States.

During the meeting, Yosef Kassa, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva provided additional information on the review and Ethiopia’s commitment to the prevention and promotion of human rights.

According to him, during the 33rd session of the UPR, the government of Ethiopia received 327 recommendations from Member and Observer States.

Significant portion of the recommendations welcomed and recognized the recent political reform in Ethiopia and the positive measures taken by the government towards the strengthening of protection and promotion of human rights.

After a careful consideration of each recommendation, Ethiopia has accepted 270 of them. Prior to the decision on the recommendations, all concerned government agencies and civil society organizations (CSOs) were consulted, he said.

While measures have already been taken by the government on a number of recommendations made, the accepted recommendations will be implemented by Ethiopia through its third national human rights action plan, which is expected to be adopted by the parliament this year, Yosef noted.

During last May’s review, the Ethiopian delegation thoroughly presented the profound reform measures taken by the government over a year ago and the significant results achieved in all fronts.

Highlighting a few of the elements, the Deputy Permanente Representative said “Since April last year, Ethiopia has taken several reform measures to widen the political and democratic space, liberalize the economy and improve the human rights situations in the country.”

Through these profound political and legislative and administrative measures, the government of Ethiopia has granted pardon and amnesty to journalists, bloggers and leaders of opposition political groups, he said.

Those who were in exile have returned and are now participating freely in democratic and political process in the country. Notorious detention centers and prisons as well as secret detention facilities have now been closed, he stated.

He further stated that comprehensive reform programs on security and law enforcement, judiciary system and democratic institution building have been undertaken to ensure accountability and institutional check and balance.

Revision of CSOs proclamation, anti-terrorism proclamation and press law have all been made, which have significantly contributing to strengthen the democratic process and promotion and protection of human rights in the country, he noted.

According to him, these bold reform measures show the commitment of the Ethiopian government to ensure that civil and political rights are respected, people fully enjoy their freedom and engagement in public affairs and testimony of the country’s efforts to fulfill its international human rights obligation.

Policy measures were also taken in an effort to boost and modernize Ethiopian economy by allowing stakes sale and mixed ownership in state-owned enterprises such as energy, telecom, logistics and aviation by both domestic and foreign private entities, he pointed out.

The Deputy Permanent Representative also told the participants about the Ethiopian Government’s plan to create 3 million jobs in the 2019/20 as part of the efforts to address youth unemployment.