Those practices amounted to torture and cruel and ill-treatment, and the children did not have a possibility to complain as the statute of limitations of medical malpractice was only 10 years.
HOGNI S. KRISTJANSSON, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations Office at Geneva, thanked all the delegations for their remarks and for their contribution to the constructive process of the Universal Periodic Review in which challenges and successes had been pointed out. Iceland would take the inputs of States and non-governmental organizations seriously. With regard to the issue of refugees, Iceland maintained an open policy and in 2016 had received the highest number of refugees ever, who were already integrated in the society. Iceland had concluded framework agreements with the United Nations Refugee Agency and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs which defined Iceland’s long-term financial contributions. The Universal Periodic Review had proven to be a valuable tool which allowed all States, even those who deemed themselves beyond reproach, to listen to comments and opinions of others about their human rights record.
MNANGAGWA, Vice-President and Minister of Administration, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of Zimbabwe, noted that Zimbabwe was an ardent supporter of the Universal Periodic Review process and it fully appreciated the importance of that mechanism. The Government of Zimbabwe would continue to engage with the Human Rights Council and would participate in the Universal Periodic Review which provided an opportunity for all States to declare what actions they had taken to improve human rights. Zimbabwe had received 260 recommendations, 142 of which it had accepted, noted 18 and deferred 100. Nine out of 100 deferred recommendations had been supported by the Government of Zimbabwe, while six had been partially supported. The noted recommendations were mostly those inconsistent with the national policies and values.
Recommendations and pertaining to ensuring the independence of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission had been partially supported. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission was independent and it enjoyed financial autonomy as it received funding directly from the treasury. Regarding recommendation on ensuring that humanitarian agencies could operate in all parts of the country without undue restrictions, Mr. Mnangagwa explained that the national law guaranteed that those agencies had the freedom to operate freely, provided that they operated within the confines of the law. As for the recommendation to provide free quality health care services for all children, abolish corporal punishment of children in all settings, strengthen child protection systems in full compliance with international human rights obligations, including the implementation of national child programmes by , that recommendation was partially supported by Zimbabwe. The Government was already pursuing efforts to ensure that all children were progressively afforded free quality health care, and various child programmes were being implemented. However, the Government could not accept the part of the recommendation concerning corporal punishment because that matter was pending before the Constitutional Court.
The Government would consider the recommendation to issue an invitation to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders on its own merits. It was clarified that the national legal framework prohibited torture and the infliction of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The Government noted the recommendations on standing invitations to mandate holders of the United Nations Special Procedures and it would extend them on a case by case basis. It was noted that Zimbabwe had been affected by the EL Nino weather phenomenon, which had adversely affected the implementation of social and economic rights, leaving the population vulnerable to famine and related challenges. The negative impact of the 2016 drought had been putting pressure on the Government to redirect resources from national social programmes towards feeding more than 800,000 vulnerable households. The country was also experiencing the devastating effects of cyclone Dineo, which was destroying infrastructure, crops and livestock. A state of emergency had been declared. Zimbabwe also continued to be challenged by the debilitating effects of economic sanctions by some Western countries.