Awareness and Training : the Diplomacy

« Awareness and Training : the Diplomacy » by Mrs Clarisse Merindol-Ouoba, legal advisor, Burkina Faso’s embassy, Switzerland.

The permanent mission is in charge of the bilateral cooperation before the embassies and the mutilateral cooperation when the United Nations system, in Geneva, is concerned. Yet one can regret that the civil society is not recognized as it should within national relations, in particular in the field of human rights where it plays a crucial role however. If, within the UPR, the civil society maintains trustworthy relationships with the States, it is not always the case with the diplomatic missions. Within the framework of bilateral cooperation the common issues are related to the humanitarian domain such as clean water and maternal health. By contrast, on the multilateral cooperation level, Burkina Faso has relationships with many IGOs, notably the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council of which the country has been a member since 2008. These relations have enabled us to become receptive to civil society in a quest for common interests without soul-searching keeping in mind that the States defend at first their own interests. Our relations with the civil society remain limited although its contribution to UPR is of paramount importance. However, Burkina Faso nurtures moderated relationships with other States and usually abstain itself from voting. This attitude could mainly be explained by the fact that as a developing country it is far from being easy to gather sufficient information in order to take an informed decision. However, resolutions related to particular thematic (rights of handicapped people, maternal mortality) are most of the time adopted by consensus.