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Advance questions and statement to Oman

Advance questions:

  1. It is still difficult to establish civil society organizations in Oman, according to the procedures in place. How can this procedure be simplified and made more transparent?
  2. It is our impression that people are being imprisoned for exercising their right to free speech, on the grounds that they are creating a bad image of the State. How can this be changed?
  3. The right to free assembly is also severely restricted. What are your plans to change this?
  4. The status of women is still inferior to that of men, in spite of some progress. What are your plans to further improve the status of women?    

Statement:

Mr President, 

Norway thanks the Omani delegation for presenting its national report and for its participation in the UPR process.

These are turbulent times in the Middle East, with a number of armed conflicts threatening to destabilize the whole region. Oman deserves praise for bringing parties together to try to settle outstanding issues, as we have seen in relation to the nuclear agreement with Iran and the conflict in Yemen.

Oman is faced with many challenges. The country has made great progress in recent decades in promoting economic development and welfare. We believe the country would benefit from a more open debate about social, political and economic solutions, so as to further strengthen the country’s progress.

Norway would therefore recommend to allow for more open expression of individual opinions, to allow civil society organisations to develop and to allow public expressions of popular demands.

Oman has made progress in advancing the status of its women and Omani women are playing a more active role in society than before. Yet their status still lags behind that of men, especially as regards personal status and the right to transfer nationality to their children.

We therefore recommend that Oman take further concrete measures to advance the personal status of women, including their right to transfer nationality to their children.

Thank you for your attention.