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UN rights expert to assess Cuba’s practices on international cooperation and solidarity

GENEVA (7 July 2017) – United Nations Independent Expert Virginia Dandan will carry out her first official visit to Cuba from 10 to 14 July 2017, travelling to Havana to gather first-hand information on how Cuba conducts its cooperation with other States and how it is working for international solidarity.

“I want to examine, in practical terms, how Cuba is delivering the elements of international solidarity,” said the expert, who will meet representatives of the Cuban Government as well as members of civil society.

“I will explore the elements of international solidarity – first the preventive or proactive policies and actions, for example how the country is addressing global challenges and promoting human rights, and second, the action taken to address crises such as humanitarian response to disasters,” said Ms. Dandan.

“I will also assess Cuba’s work to deliver a human rights-based approach to international cooperation,” she added.

The UN Human Rights Council established the Independent Expert’s mandate in 2005, in order to promote human rights and international solidarity, and to develop the Draft Declaration on the right to international solidarity, which she recently submitted to the Human Rights Council.

Ms. Dandan will meet with the media to discuss her visit on Friday 14 July 2017 at 12:00 (venue to be confirmed). Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Independent Expert’s observations and recommendations will be reflected in a report to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018.

Ms. Virginia Dandan (Philippines) was appointed Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council. She is currently an independent specialist on human rights in development, focusing on the application of the normative content of economic, social and cultural rights. Ms. Dandan was a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1990-2010) and served as its Chairperson for eight years (1998-2006). She was also in charge of the Human Rights Community Development Project in Three Philippine Indigenous Peoples’ Communities (2008-2010).

The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, country page: Cuba

For more information and media requests, please contact  Karin Hechenleitner Schacht:
In Geneva (before and after the visit): +41 22 917 9408 / khechenleitner@ohchr.orgor write to iesolidarity@ohchr.org
In Havana (during the visit): +41 79 444 3940 / +53 5 285 2031 / khechenleitner@ohchr.orgor write to iesolidarity@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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