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Minister presents report to Human Rights Committee

Minister presents report to Human Rights Committee

The Minister of Justice, Simon Power, this morning completed his presentation of New Zealand’s Fifth Periodic Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to the Human Rights Committee in New York.

The presentation took place on Tuesday at midday and the early hours of Wednesday morning, New Zealand time.

He headed New Zealand's delegation, which included New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Jim McClay, as well as officials from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Crown Law Office, the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Labour.

Mr Power made an opening statement that addressed New Zealand’s recent human rights record, the challenges facing New Zealand, and some of the Government’s initiatives to assist vulnerable New Zealanders. He then addressed specific questions from members of the Human Rights Committee.

“I appreciated the open and constructive manner in which New Zealand’s human rights situation was discussed with the Human Rights Committee," Mr Power said.

“It's important to front up with our own situation so we can credibly discuss the challenges facing us and other countries."

The Covenant is the principal international human rights treaty affirming fundamental civil and political rights. New Zealand is required to report periodically on how the Covenant obligations are being implemented domestically.

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New Zealand submitted its Fifth Periodic Report to the Human Rights Committee in December 2007. The presentation of that report was the culmination of an iterative reporting process, during which the committee considered the report and posed written questions. Mr Power responded to those questions today. The committee will release its concluding observations to New Zealand shortly.

All of the publicly available documents relating to the Fifth Periodic Report are available online at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/hrcs98.htm.

ENDS

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