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United Nations Ambassador says Cuba is prepared to collaborate with UN on Human Rights
Cuba's ambassador to the UN, Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios said Friday that the country is ready to resume co-operation with the UN on human rights, given the changes that have taken place in the organisation.

Speaking to news agency EFE, Fernandez stressed the importance of the new Human Rights Council created in 2006, as well as the withdrawl of the UN Special Envoy to Cuba, Christine Chanet, last June.

The council is a body that will allow us to explore new paths for progress, outside the boundaries of the old human rights commission," said Fernandez, adding that the changes have opened the door to Cuba's partcipation in the UN's human rights mechanisms.

As a first step, the Cuban goverment has invited Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, to visit the island to report to the council on Cuba's current situation and the measures taken by the government to improve it.

Ziegler is slated to begin his visit on the 28th October and stay until 6th Novemeber.

Fernandez pointed out that Cuba had ceased to cooperate with the previous human rights council on the grounds that the UN's human rights organs had become politicised.

This is not however the first time Cuba has collaborated with the UN on human rights. In 1999, Special Rapporteurs on violence agianst women and on the use of mercenaries were invited to the island.

Source: Radio Habana Cuba

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