UNITED NATIONS

Press Release



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HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN
RIGHTS TO VISIT GREAT LAKES
REGION OF AFRICA

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11 May 2007

The fight against impunity for serious violations of human rights will top the agenda as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour visits the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Rwanda from 13 to 25 May.

The High Commissioner will meet with the Heads of State of the three countries as well as with other senior officials to underscore the importance of addressing past abuses, including through transitional justice mechanisms, and discuss efforts to establish human rights as one of the essential elements in consolidating peace and sustainable reconstruction. The High Commissioner will also focus attention on the need to devote priority attention to realizing economic, social and cultural rights, including through increased transparency, inclusion of different parts of the population and accountability in governance.

The High Commissioner will begin her visit in the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa, before traveling to the Congolese cities of Kisangani, Bunia and Goma. On 19 May she will go to Bujumbura in Burundi. From 23 to 25 May she will be in Kigali, Rwanda.

In addition to Government authorities, the High Commissioner will meet with representatives of human rights and other non-governmental organizations, members of the United Nations family in the three countries and the diplomatic community.