Delivered by Jillian Dempster, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 13 November 2019

Mr President,

New Zealand welcomes the participation of Egypt today.

New Zealand recommends that Egypt:

• Extends a standing invitation to all special procedure mandate holders.

• Fosters an environment conducive to an active civil society, including by unblocking news and social media websites.

• Ensures that all prisoners are provided with the minimum standards of humane treatment, including protection from all forms of torture.

• Ceases immediately the use of the death penalty, especially for those under the age of 18 years at the time of offending.

• Increase support for family planning and reproductive life skills.

We commend Egypt for its positive reforms in the field of gender equality, and the rights of persons with disabilities. In particular, we acknowledge the 2015 launch of national strategies to combat violence against women, female genital mutilation, and early marriage as well as substantive efforts to improve access by persons with disabilities to government services. We encourage further progress in these areas.

Thank you Mr President.