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Iceland hopes PH will cooperate with UNHRC probe

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By Marjaleen Ramos

Iceland expressed hope that the Philippines will cooperate with the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHCR) human rights probe in the country.

Iceland Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thordarson. UN Photo/Evan Schneider/ MANILA BULLETIN

Iceland Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thordarson UN Photo/Evan Schneider/ MANILA BULLETIN

“Icelandic authorities sincerely hope that the Philippine authorities will engage the UN on this and the resolution,” Iceland Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thordarson said in a statement obtained by CNN Philippines.

“For a small and peaceful country like Iceland, international law and the multilateral system is our sword, shield and shelter. Therefore, when Iceland became a new member of the Council last year, Iceland pledged to address human rights concerns objectively and, on their merits, in a non-politicized, non-selective manner.”

Iceland earlier took the lead in the resolution passed by the UNHRC which seeks to probe into the human rights situation in the country, including the “war on drugs”. It formally requests UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet “to prepare a comprehensive written report” on it.

The European nation also stated that the resolution reaffirms the determination of UN member states to tackle the world drug problem and enjoyed the support of countries facing their own serious drug problem.

The resolution was supported by 18 countries including, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uruguay.

“The resolution is, however, very modest, focusing on impartiality and cooperation with the U.N. to get clarity around the contested facts.

The resolution also reaffirms the determination of U.N. member states to tackle the world drug problem and enjoyed the support of countries facing their own serious drug problem,” it stated.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo earlier said that President Duterte was considering cutting diplomatic relations with Iceland.

Panelo also called Iceland’s resolution as “grotesquely one-sided, outrageously narrow, and maliciously partisan”, adding that it demonstrates how Western countries are “scornful” of the Philippines’ sovereign exercise of protecting its people.

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