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HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADOPTS 15 TEXTS

Meeting Summaries

 

Extends Mandates on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Unilateral Coercive Measures, and the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence

 

The Human Rights Council this morning adopted 15 texts in which it, among other actions, extended for three years the mandates of the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances, the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, the Special Rapporteur on human rights and coercive measures, and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.

Other resolutions dealt with strengthening cooperation and technical assistance in the field of human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the right to development, local government and human rights, the rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, good governance, terrorism and human rights, human rights and indigenous peoples, human rights and the regulation of civilian use of firearms, and on eliminating inequality within and among States for the realization of human rights.

The Council also adopted a Presidential Statement on the report of the Advisory Committee, and a decision on the implementation of certain activities mandated by the Human Rights Council.

Speaking in introduction of draft texts were Iran, France, Cuba, Azerbaijan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, Republic of Korea on behalf of a group of countries, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, Mexico, Ecuador and South Africa.

Speaking in explanations of the vote before or after the vote or in general comments were Peru on behalf of a group of countries, Mexico, Brazil, Germany on behalf of the European Union, Eritrea, Argentina, Cameroon, Venezuela, Armenia, India, Peru, Australia, Philippines, Egypt, Denmark, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.

Speaking as a concerned country was Venezuela.

The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here. All meeting summaries can be found here. Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council’s forty-fifth regular session can be found here.

The Council will resume its work at 3 p.m. to continue to take action on draft resolutions and decisions.

Action on Texts under Agenda Item One on Organizational and Procedural Matters

In a Presidential Statement (A/HRC/45/L.30) on the report of the Advisory Committee, adopted without a vote, the Council takes note of the report of the Advisory Committee on its twenty-fourth session, and notes that the Advisory Committee has made a research proposal.

In a decision (A/HRC/45/L.50) on the postponement of the implementation of certain activities mandated by the Human Rights Council , adopted without a vote, the Council decides to postpone the implementation of the mandated activities that cannot be implemented by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2020 and to reschedule them in accordance with the timelines specified in the annex.

Action on Resolution under Agenda Item Two on the Annual Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

In a resolution ( A/HRC/45/L.55/Rev.1) on strengthening cooperation and technical assistance in the field of human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , adopted by a vote of 14 in favour, 7 against and 26 abstentions, the Council welcomes the establishment of a permanent presence of the Office of the High Commissioner in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela under the terms established in the memorandum of understanding signed on 20 September 2019 and renewed on 14 September 2020, including the unlimited access granted by the Government to all regions and detention centres and the strengthening of the judicial system and institutional mechanisms for the protection of human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The Council calls upon the Venezuelan authorities to cooperate with the special procedures and mechanisms of the Human Rights Council in the fulfilment of their respective mandates, to extend an invitation to mandate holders, as agreed upon with the Office of the High Commissioner, and to ensure that all individuals can communicate with the United Nations without fear of reprisal, intimidation or attack. The Council further requests the High Commissioner to present to the Human Rights Council, at its forty-sixth session, an oral update on the situation of human rights in the country , and a comprehensive written report on the situation of human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, to be presented at the Council at its forty-eighth session.

The results of the vote were as follows :

In favour (14) : Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eritrea, Fiji, Indonesia, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Sudan and Venezuela.

Against (7) : Australia, Brazil, Chile, Marshall Islands, Peru, Ukraine and Uruguay.

Abstentions (26) : Afghanistan, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Libya, Mauritania, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Slovakia, Somalia, Spain and Togo.

Action on Resolutions under Agenda Item Three on the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Right to Development

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.19) on enforced or involuntary disappearances, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon all States that have not yet signed, ratified or acceded to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance to consider doing so as a matter of priority, and to consider as well the option provided for in articles 31 and 32 of the Convention regarding the Committee on Enforced Disappearances. The Council further calls upon States to cooperate with the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and to respond favourably to its request for visits. The Council also requests the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue their intensive efforts to assist States interested in becoming parties to the Convention, while recognizing that a significant number of States support universal ratification. The Council decides to extend the mandate of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances for a further period of three years , in conformity with the terms set forth in Human Rights Council resolution 7/12. The Council also requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Working Group with all financial and human resources necessary to enable it to carry out fully its mandate.

In a resolution ( A/HRC/45/L.21) on the mandate of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order , adopted by a vote of 22 in favour, 15 against and 10 abstentions, the Council decides to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order for a period of three years , in conformity with the terms set forth by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 18/6. The Council requests the human rights treaty bodies, the Office of the High Commissioner, the special mechanisms of the Human Rights Council and the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee to pay due attention, within their respective mandates, to the present resolution, and to make contributions to its implementation, calls upon the Office of the High Commissioner to build upon the issue of the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order. The Council also requests the Independent Expert to report regularly to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly in accordance with their respective programmes of work.

The results of the vote were as follows :

In favour (22) : Angola, Argentine, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Mauritania, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Senegal, Sudan, Togo and Venezuela.

Against (15) : Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine.

Abstentions (10) : Afghanistan, Armenia, Brazil, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Mexico, Peru, Somalia and Uruguay.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.22) on human rights and unilateral coercive measures, adopted by a vote of 27 in favour, 15 against and 5 abstentions, the Council welcomes the calls made by the Special Rapporteur to lift unilateral sanctions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and decides to extend for a period of three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur , as set out in Human Rights Council resolution 27/21 of 26 September 2014. The Council requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to give high priority to human rights and unilateral coercive measures, to pursue further work in this area in full cooperation with the Special Rapporteur in her various activities, and to continue to provide the Special Rapporteur with all the assistance necessary for the effective fulfilment of the mandate. The Council calls upon all Governments to cooperate with and assist the Special Rapporteur in her tasks, to supply all necessary information requested by the mandate holder, and to respond favourably to her requests to visit their countries to enable her to fulfil her mandate effectively.

The results of the vote were as follows :

In favour (27) : Angola, Argentina, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Togo and Venezuela.

Against (15) : Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine.

Abstentions (5) : Afghanistan, Armenia, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45 /L.23) on the right to development, adopted by a vote of 27 in favour, 13 against and 7 abstentions, the Council requests the High Commissioner to continue to submit to the Human Rights Council an annual report on the activities of the Office of the High Commissioner, including on inter-agency coordination within the United Nations system that has direct relevance to the realization of the right to development , and to provide an analysis, taking into account existing challenges to the realization of the right to development, and to make recommendations on how to overcome them and concrete proposals for supporting the Working Group on the Right to Development in fulfilling its mandate. The Council urges the Office of the High Commissioner, in the implementation of the Declaration on the Right to Development, to ensure balanced and visible allocation of both financial and human resources to the existing mechanisms within the Office, including the Expert Mechanism of the Right to Development and the Special Rapporteur on the right to development, for the realization of the right to development, also to ensure the visibility of the right to development by identifying and implementing tangible projects dedicated to the right to development, in collaboration with the Expert Mechanism and the Special Rapporteur, and to provide regular updates to the Human Rights Council in this regard.

The results of the vote were as follows :

In favour (27) : Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Togo and Venezuela.

Against (13) : Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine.

Abstentions (7) : Armenia, Brazil, Chile, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Republic of Korea and Uruguay.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.27) on local government and human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report , in consultation with all States and relevant intergovernmental organizations, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, relevant special procedures of the Human Rights Council, the Advisory Committee, the treaty bodies, national human rights institutions, civil society representatives, including non-governmental organizations, and local governments, on the role of local government and the challenges faced in the promotion and protection of human rights , including in relation to the right to equality and non-discrimination and the protection of persons in vulnerable and marginalized situations, with a view to identifying possible elements of principles guiding local and national governments in this regard, and to submit the report to the Council prior to its fifty-first session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.28/Rev.1) on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States to, inter alia, implement the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals and targets, including Goal 6 on ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, in accordance with their obligations under international law and consider making the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 6, a priority at the highest level in order to ensure the progressive realization of the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation for all in a non-discriminatory manner while eliminating inequalities in access , including for persons in vulnerable situations and marginalized groups, on the grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, as well as on any other grounds, including disability. The Council also requests the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide the Special Rapporteur with all the resources and assistance necessary for the effective fulfilment of the mandate.

In a resolution ( A/HRC/45/L.29) on the role of good governance in the promotion and protection of human rights , adopted without a vote, the Council notes with concern that the current pandemic lockdowns may limit freedom of movement and access to basic public services and, among other things, affect jobs, livelihoods and family life ; and also notes with concern that many forms of the digital divide remain between and within countries and between men and women, boys and girls, older and younger persons and persons with disabilities, and recognizing the need to close them. The Council also requests the High Commissioner : to organize, at the fiftieth session of the Human Rights Council, a panel discussion on good governance in the promotion and protection of human rights during and after the COVID-19 pandemic , with a view to discuss the most efficient ways of using new technologies to overcome challenges and to ensure the full realization of human rights and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals ; to liaise with States, relevant United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, the treaty bodies, the special procedures of the Human Rights Council and regional human rights mechanisms, as well as with representatives of civil society, including non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions, with a view to ensuring their contribution to the above-mentioned panel discussion ; and to prepare a report on the panel discussion in the form of a summary, and to present it to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-second session.

In a resolution ( A/HRC/45/L.31) on the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence , adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend for a period of three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence , whose tasks will include : to contribute to and, where applicable, facilitate, upon request, the provision of technical assistance or advisory services on the issues pertaining to the mandate ; to gather relevant information on national situations, including on normative frameworks, national practices and experiences, such as truth and reconciliation commissions and other mechanisms, relating to the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence in addressing gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law, and to study trends, developments and challenges and to make recommendations thereon… The Council urges all States to cooperate with and to assist the Special Rapporteur so that his mandate can be carried out effectively, including by responding favourably and rapidly to requests for visits, mindful that country visits are one of the essential tools for the fulfilment of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, and to provide him in a timely manner with all the necessary information requested by him. The Council also requests the Special Rapporteur to continue to report annually to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.33) on terrorism and human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council strongly condemns all terrorist acts as criminal and unjustifiable, and expresses grave concern at their detrimental effects on the enjoyment of all human rights, and stresses the responsibility of States to protect persons in their territory against such acts, in full compliance with their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law. The Council calls upon States to ensure that any measure taken to counter terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism complies with international law , in particular human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law. The Council also expresses serious concern at the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms and of international refugee law and international humanitarian law in the context of countering terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism. The Council urges States to ensure that measures taken to counter terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism are not discriminatory, and not to resort to profiling based on stereotypes founded on ethnic, racial or religious grounds or any other ground of discrimination prohibited by international law.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.34) on human rights and indigenous peoples, adopted without a vote, the Council decides that the theme of the annual half-day panel discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples, to be held during the forty-eighth session of the Human Rights Council, will be the situation of human rights of indigenous peoples facing the COVID-19 pandemic and have a special focus on the right to participation , and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to encourage and facilitate the participation of indigenous women and to make the discussion fully accessible to persons with disabilities, and to prepare a summary report on the discussion and to submit it to the Council prior to its fiftieth session. The Council further decides to continue to discuss further steps to facilitate the participation of indigenous peoples’ representatives and institutions in the work of the Human Rights Council, in particular in dialogues with the Expert Mechanism and the Special Rapporteur and in the annual half-day discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples.

In a resolution ( A/HRC/45/L.35) on human rights and the regulation of civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms, adopted without a vote, the Council calls once more upon States to ensure that regulations on civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms include appropriate measures to avoid illicit practices, including diversion of firearms ; and also calls upon all States to take effective measures with the aim of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Sustainable Development Goal 16, to promote peaceful and inclusive societies. The Council also requests the High Commissioner to prepare a report on the human rights impact of the civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms by children and youth , with a view to contributing to the strengthening or the development of comprehensive public policies based on socioeconomic interventions and services, which address the factors driving firearms-related violence, and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-eighth session.

In a resolution ( A/HRC/45/L.37) on eliminating inequality within and among States for the realization of human rights, adopted by a vote of 25 in favour, 8 against and 14 abstentions, the Council decides to work in a systematic manner to give due consideration to address inequality within and among States by sharing best practices, challenges and lessons learned concerning integrated approaches to the promotion and protection of human rights and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Council also decides, in order to have a clear line of sight with respect to inequalities as States “build back better” after the pandemic, to hold at its forty-eighth session a half-day panel discussion on deepening inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and their implications for the realization of human rights , and requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to make the discussion fully accessible to persons with disabilities, and to prepare a summary report on the discussion and to submit it to the Council at its fifty-first session. The Council also requests the Office of the High Commissioner to organize the above-mentioned panel discussion and to collaborate with States and other relevant stakeholders, including United Nations agencies, funds and programmes within their respective mandates, civil society organizations, and national human rights institutions, in order to ensure multi-stakeholder participation in the panel discussion.

The results of the vote were as follows :

In favour (25) : Afghanistan, Angola, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Togo and Venezuela.

Against (8) : Australia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia.

Abstentions (14) : Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Italy, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Peru, Republic of Korea, Spain, Ukraine and Uruguay.

 

HRC20.119E