Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to lead Indian delegation at Human Rights Council

The announcement came hours before the session where the United States, U.K., Belgium, Germany and Spain are expected to raise issues like the CAA, hate speech and the hijab issue of Karnataka

November 09, 2022 01:50 pm | Updated 02:51 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

The Human Rights Council during a session at the United Nations in Geneva. File

The Human Rights Council during a session at the United Nations in Geneva. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta will lead the official Indian delegation to the Human Rights Council where the Fourth Universal Periodic Review will take place on November 10, the Ministry of External Affairs has announced.

An official press release stated, India has been “engaged constructively” with the members of the UNHRC and others in the United Nations to support human rights across the world. The announcement came hours before the session where the United States, U.K., Belgium, Germany and Spain are expected to raise issues like the Citizenship Amendment Act and incidents of “hate speech” and the hijab issue of Karnataka.

“We have laid emphasis on dialogue, engagement and cooperation among various stakeholders. We have underlined the primacy of States in fulfilling their human rights obligations. We have endeavoured to build consensus in the council on various issues on its agenda and we have participated in deliberations in the council in a constructive manner,” an official statement declared about India’s attitude to the HRC.

Apart from Mr. Mehta, the Indian delegation will comprise of K.M. Nataraj, Additional Solicitor General, Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative of India at the HRC and other senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Ministry of rural Development and the NITI Aayog. Vice Chancellor of the National Law University, Delhi will also be part of the delegation.

The Universal Periodic Review will take place on November 10 during 2.30 p.m. - 6 p.m. for which Advance Questions have been submitted by several countries that includes Panama and Liechtenstein.

The Hindu reported earlier that Belgium in its “Advance Questions” has termed the Citizenship Amendment Act as “anti-minority” and asked India if the law would be “repealed”. That apart several questions were asked about India’s treatment of journalists, human rights defenders and vulnerable communities.

In the National Report submitted in August, India has explained its position regarding the human rights scenario at home.

Wednesday’s official statement asserted that the National Statement includes the steps that India has taken to implement the recommendations accepted by New Delhi in India’s 3rd UPR cycle in 2017 and stated, “India plays an active role in global promotion and protection of human rights. Our strong commitment for the welfare of entire humanity, inspired by our civilizational ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or ‘the world is one family’ provides a foundation on which our constitutional and legal framework for human rights has been built.”

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