Countries rush to praise Sudan during flawed human rights review

GENEVA, May 4, 2016 — As expected, Sudan’s universal periodic review (UPR) was by and large a wasted opportunity. The UPR is a process by which the UN Human Rights Council scrutinizes the human rights record of each UN member state every four years. Although some countries took the floor to condemn human rights violations in Sudan, urging the Government to ratify CEDAW (a women’s rights convention) and to abolish female genital mutilation, the majority of states misused this unique occasion for genuine scrutiny, instead choosing to praise the Sudanese government for its efforts.
Below is a more detailed look at countries’ praise for Sudan, in order of speaker:
Sri Lanka:

  • “We note the considerable efforts made by Sudan at both institutional and legislative spheres to ensure protection of human rights, including the establishment of the national human rights commission.”

State of Palestine:

  • “We greatly appreciate Sudan’s efforts despite difficulties to promote human rights.”
  • “We welcome Sudan’s ratification of a number of human rights instruments.”
  • “Resident conflicts in the country have prevented developments in the education sector, nevertheless we noted the efforts taken by the government to lower this negative impact and to improve the access to the curriculum.”
  • “We welcome government’s efforts to eradicate poverty.”


  • “Tajikistan notes the positive changes in the protection and promotion of human rights in the Republic of Sudan despite significant economic and social problems.”
  • “We note Sudan’s cooperation with international monitoring mechanism and human rights procedures.”
  • “We welcome the adoption of a national promotion and protection plan for human rights and the improvements of legislation in various directions and also in enhancing of efforts in national culture and diversity.”


  • “We are pleased to note the progress made by Sudan in the field of human rights following its first review.”
  • “We encourage the Sudan to continue its efforts for the promotion of women’s rights in various fields.”

United Arab Emirates:

  • “We would like to underline our great appreciation for all the efforts being made by the Sudan to uphold human rights in the form of legislative forums and institutional amendments and so on as well as appropriate strategies.”
  • “A number of programs have been implemented to uphold human rights in law and in practice.”


  • “We commend the highly professional way in which the report was drafted, the government’s commitment to protect and promote human rights is evidence true passing, a set of national legislation namely the anti human trafficking act, the transparency and the anti-corruption act, the freedom of information act and the national plan to protect and promote human rights.”


  • “Welcomes the fact that the recommendations of the first UPR cycle have given Sudan the opportunity to enhance fundamental freedoms in the context of protecting human rights via legislative and practical measures.”
  • “We note with satisfaction that Sudan grants women the same rights as men in many areas of life and cooperates with human rights instruments.”


  • “China commends the Sudan’s efforts since the first UPR such as in the field of combating human trafficking […] health and anti-corruption […] the formulation of the national plan to promote and protect and human rights.”
  • “The positive progress in health, housing and infrastructure and the rights of vulnerable groups including people in poverty and persons with disabilities.”

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea:

  • “We appreciate […] in particular continued efforts by the Sudanese Government for peace and stability as an essential fact of genuine human rights.”
  • “We welcome the achievements such as high attendance level in general education, developments activities and the increased economic participation of the citizens.”


  • “We commend the Sudan for the report, which reflects the outcome of an interactive dialogue and broad based discussions with numbers of actors and civil society organizations and also reflects the several steps taken by the Government in the area of promoting and protecting human rights.”


  • “We express our appreciation to the efforts put to prepare and draft this national report, which reflects Sudan’s interests in matters of human rights.”
  • “We commend the measures, national plans and legislative measures taken in order to promote basic and fundamental freedoms in the field of protecting human rights, namely the anti-human trafficking act, the transparency, integrity and anti-corruption act and the mineral wealth development act.”
  • “We would also like to welcome the comprehensive national dialogue based on the initiative by the government of Sudan to work with all regional parties in order to convince all parties to join this dialogue that will achieve peace and development in Sudan.”


  • “We welcome the efforts of the Government of Sudan to promote fundamental freedoms and protect human rights. In this regard, we take note of measures taken to protect the victims of trafficking, freedom of information, promotion of education, efforts to strengthen health sector and efforts to combat poverty as well as to protect women and children.”

Saudi Arabia:

  • “The report shows the positive interaction with the human rights mechanism.”
  • “Despite the challenges Sudan is facing we would like to commend all the efforts deployed in order to accept the previous recommendations in the previous UPR as well as efforts in the field of human trafficking.”


  • “We value the important achievements made by the government in fulfilling the recommendations by the UPR.”
  • “Great efforts have been undertaken by the country to […] continue to make progress and to create a better future for their people.”
  • “Sudan is facing challenges that hamper the enjoyment of human rights in spite of the enormous efforts undertaken to overcome them, the coercive measures that are imposed on the country are contrary to Human Rights and affect the right of the people to achieve appropriate standards of living.”
  • “Significant efforts in the social sphere have been made in particular regarding the right of education and measures adopted to improve access in rural areas.”
  • Venezuela would like to congratulate the Government of Sudan and recommend that it continues to bolster its national infrastructures with particular emphasis on its successful educational policies to efforts to achieve best success.”


UN Watch