The General Assembly on Tuesday suspended Libya’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council. In his statement to the United Nations meeting in New York on Tuesday, the Permanent Representative of Botswana to the United Nations, Mr Charles Ntwaagae condemned the government of Libya for the gross violation of human rights of its people.
“Over the last couple of days, the world community has watched helplessly as the people of Libya continue to bear the brunt of excessive use of force, gross-violation of human rights and brutality by their government.” Mr Ntwaagae said Botswana has joined the list of co-sponsors of this important resolution as a gesture of support and solidarity with the people of Libya.
He noted that the international community has a duty and a responsibility to ensure that the government of Libya exercises its responsibility to protect the fundamental rights, freedoms and dignity of its people. The ambassador said member states of the United Nations had to be on the side of the victims of what turned out to “gross and systematic violations of human rights in Libya.”
“It would be recalled that the founding General Assembly resolution 60/251 that established human rights in March 2006 carries a pledge that “members elected to the council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.
”Mr Ntwaagae stated that what this means is that any members elected to the council have a duty and an obligation to provide guardianship and to lead by example in terms of cultivating a peaceful atmosphere for the full enjoyment and exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms including the freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly by their citizens.
Therefore, he said Botswana is of the view that the rights of membership in any council of any member state which fails to measure up to these values, are not worth preserving. “ We feel strongly that the rare fortune and privilege of being entrusted with authority to govern should always be complemented by a significant measure of humility and accountability on the part of those to whom such authority is entrusted.”
The ambassador said by adopting the resolution, the General Assembly is sending a clear message that the excessive force by a government against its own people cannot be condoned any further. He said Botswana believes these actions are extremely reprehensive and warrant the application by the General Assembly of the measures of suspension of Libya’s rights of membership of the Human Rights Council as provided for in operative paragraph 8 of the resolution 60/251. BOPA