Bhutan presented its third national report to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Bhutanese delegation was led by foreign affairs minister Dr. Tandi Dorji and included senior officials from various agencies of the government, including a representative of the Civil Society Organization.
In his statement to the review body, Lyonpo Dr. Tandi Dorji highlighted the Constitution of Bhutan as the foundation for protection and promotion of the fundamental human rights and the significant progress Bhutan made since the country presented its second UPR in 2014.
While highlighting the challenges of lack of appropriate institutions, resources constraints and the state of national readiness to assume greater international obligations, the Lyonpo reiterated the commitment of the government to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the continued pursuit of state policies to further enhance the situation of human rights in Bhutan.
According to the press release from the ministry of foreign affairs, ninety-six Members States took the floor to commend the progress made by Bhutan and recommended actions to address existing gaps.
“The Royal Government will review the recommendations received from Member States in the coming days. The report of Bhutan’s Third Universal Periodic Report on the situation of human rights in Bhutan will be adopted by the Human Rights Council in September this year,” states the press release.
During the visit, Lyonpo Dr.Tandin Dorji, meanwhile, also held bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Norway and Switzerland – Ms. Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide and Mr. Ignazio Cassis.
Lyonpo also met Mr. Filippo Grande, United Nations High Commissioner for the Refugees and the representatives of Society Switzerland Bhutan. Meanwhile, Bhutan’s first and second UPR reports were submitted in 2009 and 2014 respectively.