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Closing Statement by Attorney General for India at the Third Universal Periodic Review of India (Geneva, May 04, 2017)

May 05, 2017

Thank you, Mr. President,
Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen


Let me take this opportunity to thank all of you present here for the interest shown in India’s peer review process. We have benefited immensely from your comments, queries and recommendations. We responded to as many issues as we possibly could within the framework of this process and the given time limit. A consultative spirit that has imbued our approach and preparation also informed our participation today. My delegation from different ministries and departments of the government will return with ideas that have been generated today for further strengthening our system since we do believe that observance and promotion of human rights is work in progress. It is with this fundamental belief that we have approached this mechanism.

As I mentioned in my opening remarks, my government remains committed to leave no one behind and to ensure that the policies and schemes reach the bottom of the pyramid. Major initiatives, spearheaded by our dynamic and visionary Prime Minister, like the Digital India, Smart Cities, Celebrate the Girl Child and Enable her Education with clearly defined deadlines are targeted to reach all irrespective of their social or religious status. We heard some speakers mention discrimination. We would request them to also look at these initiatives and the efforts that are being expended in taking them to all corners of the country, including places that had not seen any public work being undertaken for decades. Our ambition remains to lift every Indian out of poverty and to provide to every citizen the basic amenities.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

We live in a world that is increasingly inter-connected and there is growing real time awareness of development anywhere and of any kind. However, this in no way has diminished the relevance of those mechanisms that are broad-based and reinforce mutual respect and accommodation. That is how we engage with the international organizations that we are proud to be part of.

India is a living civilization with millennia old tradition of assimilation, accommodation and tolerance. We, who have the honour to represent it, are conscious of the responsibilities vested in us by the 1,250 million people and humbled by their faith in us to deliver to them basic services and a life not just of prosperity but of dignity and pride. The world’s fastest growing major economy represents the new hope for the world – of sustainable development and of leaving no one behind. We are prepared to face the challenges that are there and negotiate through the constraints that may emerge. In this pursuit of ours, not only India but the entire region and beyond shall benefit. We look forward to working with you all in this journey.

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