Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 19th Session
Universal Periodic Review of Bhutan
Statement by Australia
30 April 2014
Australia welcomes Bhutan’s engagement with the UPR process and its efforts to implement recommendations from the 2009 UPR.
We commend Bhutan for the successful conduct of the National Assembly Election in July 2013 - an important step in the consolidation of democracy.
We recognise Bhutan’s achievements in addressing the Millennium Development Goals and its commitment to improving living standards for its people.
We welcome the bolstering of Bhutan’s human rights framework through the passage of the 2013 Domestic Violence Prevention Act. Legal reform addressing human rights concerns is commendable and would be further enhanced if Bhutan was a party to the Rome Statute. Australia recommends that Bhutan accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Australia remains concerned for the welfare of thousands of Nepali-Bhutanese refugees in two refugee camps in Nepal. Australia recommends that Bhutan give favourable consideration to the return from Nepal of those refugees with compelling humanitarian needs.