Pretoria - International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Marius Fransman, is expected to participate in the High-Level Segment of the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to be held in Geneva, Switzerland.
During the session, scheduled for 27 February to 2 March 2012, Fransman will on 29 February deliver a statement covering contemporary issues facing the international human rights system and the agenda of the Human Rights Council.
The Council is expected to appoint a number of mandate holders, including the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan; the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic; the Special Rapporteur on truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence, as well as the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order.
A number of panel discussions will also be convened during the session of the HRC, including panel discussions on discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and a panel discussion on the freedom of expression on the internet.
An annual thematic discussion on best practices and promotion of technical cooperation, in preparation for the commencement of the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism, is also expected to take place, where South Africa will be among the first countries to be reviewed during the second cycle, with focus being on the implementation of accepted recommendations during the first cycle.