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Visit of the Director-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to London

Ambassador Joshua Sears

Ambassador Joshua Sears, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is presently visting London to attend the Commonwealth Mid-Term Review of the Universal Periodic Review Process, in London from 11 to 12 March 2010.

One of the primary instruments of the Human Rights Council established by the United Nations General Assembly in March 2006 is to monitor and review the Human Rights Records of 192 Member States of the International Community.

An expert panel will convene in London to review the implementation of the Universal Periodic Review Process and to make recommendations to the UN. A document of Best Practices in the Commonwealth will be one of the outcomes of this Review.

To date, 142 countries of the UN have been reviewed. The Bahamas was the first CARICOM (Caribbean Community) country to be reviewed, which was done at the Third Session in December 2008, and Ambassador Sears has been invited to share The Bahamas and Caribbean experience with the Commonwealth Expert Group.

Secretary General Kamelesh Sharma will deliver the keynote address and the panel will engage in two days of intensive discussions, which will make an important contribution to the UN Review Process.

Ambassador Sears indicated that this opportunity to contribute to the Commonwealth's position on the review of this new instrument and the further development of Human Rights law and practices globally is a "single honour" for The Bahamas.