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Recently, Russia managed to remove two recommendations from the list of recommendations at the end of the report and to get them added only as footnote. This is jeopardizing the process and could create a precedent where States under Review would negotiate to erase recommendations from the official list. The statement calls on the Human Rights Council President to issue a statement which would clarify the format of the WG report. We would like to open the statement to more NGOs. We welcome signatures until Wednesday 5 June, 6pm.

UPR Info, International Service for Human Rights, Cairo Institute for Human Rights, Franciscans International and Canadian HIV /Aids Network are planning to make the following statement under item 6 general debate on Friday the 7th on the issue of the format of Working Group reports.

Mr. President,

Civil society is deeply concerned by the current attacks on the format of the Working Group report. This document bears great importance as it represents the official record of the review process in Geneva on which the implementation will be based. We therefore deeply regret that two recommendations were taken out of a draft report at the UPR 16th session because they were considered as "not relevant" by the State under review. This was an action never seen before in the UPR and runs the risk of setting a dangerous precedent.

According to Resolution 5/1, the Report of the Working Group is a “summary of the proceedings” and should be drafted in an objective manner. Its format should be the same for all countries in order to guarantee equal treatment. Its content should reflect the discussion held in the room and should not be subjected to negotiations by countries, as stated in Presidential statement A/HRC/PRST/8/1 from 9 April 2008.

Both accepted and noted recommendations should be included the report, irrespective of the country making them and the issue raised. All States have the right to suggest any recommendation. Similarly, any State under Review is entitled not to accept recommendations. However, under no circumstances State should have the possibility to remove recommendations from the list for any reason, not even on the grounds that they are considered as being “not relevant”.

Comments from States under Review on the reasons why they do not accept recommendations should be kept for the addendum. The chapeau or headers of the categories of recommendations in Section two of the Working Group report should be streamlined and clearly defined as: recommendations which enjoy the support, those which are noted and those pending until the HRC adoption.

We therefore call on you, Mr. President, to issue a Presidential statement to immediately end the attempts to tamper with the Working Group Report and clarify its format as soon as possible.

Thank you.