UN human rights chief Navi Pillay to visit Guinea and Senegal, 13-18 March

GENEVA (11 March 2011) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will undertake her first offical mission to West Africa next week, visiting Guinea from 13-15 March and Senegal from 15-18 March. During her visit to both countries, she will engage with national authorities and civil society on a range of human rights issues.

An OHCHR office was set up in Guinea for the first time in May 2010, following the report of the International Commission of Inquiry mandated to establish the facts and circumstances of the violent events that took place on 28 September 2009. While in Guinea, the High Commissioner will meet with President Alpha Condé, Prime Minister Said Mohamed Fofana, senior ministers and members of the transitional parliament (Conseil National de la Transition), as well as with civil society organizations and other actors. She will also meet with refugees from Côte d’Ivoire and a centre for victims of human rights abuses.

The High Commissioner will hold a press conference on 15 March at 17:30 in the Novotel, in the capital Conakry.

In Senegal, where OHCHR's Regional Office for West Africa is located, Pillay is scheduled to meet with President Abdoulaye Wade, government ministers, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for West Africa, civil society organizations and other actors. During the visit she will sign a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering the the OHCHR Regional Office for an indefinite period. The office was originally established in 2008 for an intital two-year period. While in Senegal, the High Commissioner will also visit a rehabilitation centre for victims of torture from the region, which is located in the town of Thiès, some 60 km east of the capital Dakar. The centre is partly funded by the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.

The High Commissioner will hold a press conference on Wednesday 16 March around 12:00 at the Foreign Ministry in Dakar after she and the Foreign Minister have signed the Memorandum of Understanding, and will also meet with members of the press at the end of her visit (for details see media contact below).

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Conakry: Ahowanou Agbessi + 224 6340 9518 / aagbessi@ohchr.org
In Dakar: Paul d'Auchamp + 221 33 869 8973 / Mobile: +221 77 819 6066 / pdauchamp@ohchr.org
In Geneva: Rupert Colville + 41 22 917 9767

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

For more information on the OHCHR mandate and work: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Pages/WelcomePage.aspx

OHCHR Country Page on Guinea: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/GNIndex.aspx
OHCHR Country Page on Senegal: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/SNIndex.aspx