Foreign Office Minister for Human Rights visits Geneva

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Baroness Anelay made her first overseas visit since her appointment as Minister with responsibility for Human Rights and International Organisations. The visit to Geneva during the September session of the Human Rights Council marked the first UK Ministerial meeting with the newly appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein and provided an opportunity to discuss priorities such as Syria, Iraq and Ukraine.

The 27th session of the Human Rights Council started on 8 September and will run until 24 September. Baroness Anelay highlighted the UK’s leading role in sharing good practice on the Universal Periodic Review process during a joint event with Moroccan Human Rights Minister, El Haiba Mahjoub. Further meetings with the World Health Organisation, the UN Refugee Agency and the International Committee of the Red Cross gave the Minister the opportunity to express UK support for their valuable work in conflict affected countries and understand how they are addressing the latest challenges.

Baroness Anelay also co-hosted a dinner with the UK Permanent Representative in Geneva, Karen Pierce CMG, to discuss challenges to the UN system with guests including former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the United Nations Office at Geneva, the International Organisation for Migration and key international ambassadors.

Baroness Anelay said:

This January will mark a year since the UK was elected to the Human Rights Council – something that is both an honour and a great responsibility. My visit marked the UK’s long standing commitment to advancing human rights internationally and I look forward to continuing our work together to protect human rights.

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