UN Human Rights Chief: Press Conference in ABu Dhabi on Saturday 24 April

23 April 2010

BAHRAIN -- The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will hold a press conference at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday 24 April at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

The High Commissioner is undertaking a ten-day visit to all six Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in an unprecedented effort by the UN human rights office to engage more actively and effectively with the governments and civil society in the region.

Ms. Pillay is seeking to gain first-hand understanding of current dynamics in the Gulf Cooperation Council region in relation to human rights, including progress in some areas as well as specific issues of particular concern. She is also examining ways in which her office can provide further support and advice to the individual Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

She arrived in Saudi Arabia on 17 April, and has subsequently paid visits to Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, before arriving in the United Arab Emirates on Friday. She will wrap up her mission in Oman on Monday 26 April.

The Abu Dhabi press conference is the only press conference for the entire mission.

This is the first time that a High Commissioner for Human Rights has visited all six Gulf Cooperation Council States during the same mission. It is also the first time any High Commissioner for Human Rights has visited Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates or Oman (Bahrain received the then High Commissioner Mary Robinson in 2002, and Navi Pillay made a brief visit to Qatar in 2009).

A keynote speech on human rights in the region, delivered by the High Commissioner in Jeddah on Monday, as well as a biography of the High Commissioner and other information about the visit can be found at www.ohchr.org

Learn more about the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/HighCommissioner.aspx

UN human rights chief visit to six Gulf Cooperation Council States from 17-26 April: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=9961&LangID=E

Click here to visit OHCHR website: http://www.ohchr.org

For more information and media requests, contact:

Nejib Friji, UN Information Centre for Bahrain, Qatar & UAE : + 973 1 7311676
or Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the High Commissioner: + 41 79 506 1088

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For use of the information media; not an official record