Press release

Validation Workshop on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

February 29, 2012

A validation workshop for Seychelles’ Initial State Party Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was held yesterday in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme at the STC Conference Centre.

The Covenant is one out of eight core international human rights instruments that Seychelles is a party to. Among others, the covenant guarantees the right to non discrimination, the right to freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial.

In his opening address, the Minister for Social Development and Culture, Mr. Bernard Shamlaye remarked on the reporting burden placed on Small Island Developing States:

“Last year, in his introductory address at the validation workshop for the Universal Periodic Review, my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, referred to the lateness in Seychelles reporting on the ICCPR and rightly said that the delay in reporting was due to Seychelles’ inability, as opposed to unwillingness, to comply with procedural obligations such as submitting reports.”

The Minister added that the lateness in reporting did not in any way reflect the strong commitment of the Government to promoting human rights.

Minister Shamlaye also extended a special thanks to the European Union and the UNDP for their assistance with this report:

“They have allowed Seychelles to demonstrate that when we have the necessary resources at hand, we are fully willing and determined to fulfil our report writing obligations.”

The workshop, which was attended by different sectors of government, non-governmental organizations and civil society, included a presentation by the Report Consultant, Mr. Benjamin Vel, and group discussions on the findings of the report.

The reporting process is being funded by the 10th European Development Fund and the final report is expected to be submitted to the Human Rights Committee in Geneva by April 2012.

 The Initial report by Seychelles was due in 1993.