The UK did not sign up to the joint statement as we did not consider it appropriate at this stage to raise Bahrain under agenda item 4. A number of other countries, including the US and other EU member states, agreed with our assessment and also did not sign the statement.
We agree with much of the substance of the Swiss-led statement and our overall objective remains to support improvements in Bahrain's human rights records. However, we do not believe that the situation in Bahrain is comparable with the situation in the other countries raised under this item such as Syria.
Progress has been made in a number of areas relating to human rights. The Bahrain Government has established a Special Investigations Unit to investigate allegations of torture and mistreatment, amended the penal code to ensure greater accountability for officials connected with torture charges, and introduced a police code of conduct imposing strict rules on the use of force.
But clearly much more needs to be done and the UK, as a long standing ally, is supporting Bahrain on their path of reform.