UN expert to assess impact of Japan’s development assistance on human rights

GENEVA /TOKYO (11 July 2013) – United Nations Independent Expert on foreign debt Cephas Lumina will visit Japan from 16 to 19 July 2013 to assess the impact of its official development assistance to the realization of human rights, as one of the largest providers of official development assistance in the world.

“I am interested in learning about Japan’s contribution to debt relief efforts for highly indebted developing countries and the impact this has had on the realization of human rights, including the right to development and on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals in the recipient countries,” Mr. Lumina said.

The Independent Expert will also assess to what extent Japan has integrated human rights-based approaches into its development cooperation policies, and the role played by Japanese and foreign non-governmental organisations in the implementation of the country’s international development policies.

This is the first fact-finding mission to Japan by an independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the impact of foreign debt and related international financial obligations on the enjoyment of human rights.

Mr. Lumina, who visits the country at the invitation of the Japanese authorities, will meet with senior Government officials, including representatives of various Ministries. He will also hold meetings with representatives of international organizations, civil society and diplomats from countries receiving development assistance from Japan.

The Independent Expert will issue a statement at the end of his visit on Friday 19 July 2013.

His final findings and recommendations will be presented in a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2014.

Cephas Lumina is an Advocate of the High Court for Zambia and an Extra-Ordinary Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Pretoria. He holds a PhD in international human rights from Griffith University and has extensive experience in human rights. He was appointed Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2008. He is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. The mandate covers all countries. Learn more, log on to:

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Japan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/JPIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests please contact Gunnar Theissen (+41 22 917 9321 or + 41 79 752 0481 during the visit / gtheissen@ohchr.org) or write to: ieforeigndebt@ohchr.org

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