Human Rights Day December 2013
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
British Ambassador Mark Kent issues a statement to mark Human Rights Day and outline the UK’s priorities for membership of the Human Rights Council 2014-2016.
Promoting human rights internationally is a major pillar of the United Kingdom’s foreign policy. On Human Rights Day, 10 December, Mark Kent, British Ambassador to Thailand, said:
Today (10 December) is Human Rights Day, marking the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 64 years ago.
The UK is proud to have recently been re-elected to the UN’s Human Rights Council for the period 2014-2016.
Priorities for our membership of the Human Rights Council include the promotion of Business and Human Rights, encouraging global businesses to operate at all times in a way that is respectful of human rights. The UK recently launched a national action plan on business and human rights becoming the first country to set out guidance to companies on integrating human rights into their operation. In Thailand, negotiations for an EU-Thailand Free Trade Agreement are providing the UK, through the EU, with further opportunity to support the effective implementation of core labour standards and rights in Thailand.
We are also working to support equality and non-discrimination for all people, including gender equality, upholding the rights of minority groups and lesbian, gay and transgender people, and supporting freedom of religion and belief. As part of this focus, Foreign Secretary William Hague last year launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), which aims to address the culture of impunity regarding sexual violence against women in some parts of the world and replace it with accountability. Thailand has a strong record on many of these issues. And the UK is playing an active role by supporting initiatives such as International Women’s Day and project work to empower women in the South of Thailand. Further details and background on our priorities during our membership of the Human Rights Council can be found (in English) at human rights page.
The UK looks forward to working closely with Thailand on promoting these values globally. In addition we, along with EU colleagues, will continue to work together in Thailand to further support the principles of democratic governance, the rule of law and freedom of expression.
Follow British Ambassador Mark Kent on twitter @KentBKK