Phillip Muller, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Marshall Islands to the United Nations, said the Government accepted the recommendations on ratification or accession to the main international human rights treaties and underlined the serious need of technical and financial assistance in properly implementing them. Lack of resources was the reason why the establishment of a national human rights institution was not being considered at the moment. The Marshall Islands also accepted the recommendations on the promotion of human rights, addressing domestic violence and other issues affecting women, children’s rights, socio-economic development and climate change. The Government was disappointed that only one nation in the Universal Periodic Review had responded to issues raised regarding climate change impacts.
In the discussion on Jamaica, speakers looked forward to continued progress on reforming the justice sector with an emphasis on increasing respect for the rule of law and human rights among the police forces. Also, speakers welcomed the efforts to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and urged Jamaica to repeal sections of the law that criminalised same-sex activities. Speakers noted the progress made in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, poverty reduction, education, access to public and reproductive health, malnutrition and hunger and their progress in the protection of children against ill treatment and exploitation. A speaker was disappointed that Jamaica had rejected the moratorium on executions, the commutation of all death sentences to prison sentences and the abolishment of the death penalty.
Speaking in the general debate on the Universal Periodic Review of Jamaica were Algeria, Morocco, Cuba and the United States. The non-governmental organizations that spoke during the discussion were COC Nederland and Amnesty International.
The Council then adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review on Jamaica.
They underscored the provisions of their constitution which addressed the guarantees of any citizen and the possibility for them to appeal violations in court. Concerning the justice and law enforcement reform, they were improving prison conditions and the training of officers in these institutions. They had also increased the training in law enforcement. Moreover the Government had established an independent commission on investigations that investigated abuses. Jamaica thanked the members of the Council for the attention paid to the review of Jamaica and wished to remind them that the list of recommendations in the numerical count may be misleading as some recommendations were repeated. Jamaica recommended that recommendations be clustered in a thematic way. Jamaica had clearly indicated those recommendations that they rejected and those accepted.
Extensive work had been done with regard to the amendment of the Constitution to provide for “A Charter of Rights and Freedoms” and the Government remained committed to the implementation of this important instrument which would be submitted to the Jamaican Parliament on 29 March 2011. While there was no single institution in Jamaica dealing with the issue of human rights, the mandates of several entities were established with portfolio responsibilities to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights and were strong and effective.