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HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL CONCLUDES REGULAR FORTY-FIFTH SESSION AFTER ADOPTING 35 RESOLUTIONS, ONE PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT AND ONE DECISION

Meeting Summaries

 

The Human Rights Council this afternoon concluded its forty-fifth regular session after adopting 35 resolutions, one Presidential Statement and one decision.

The Council ended the mandate of the Independent Expert on Sudan.

The mandate of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen was extended under agenda item two on the annual report of the High Commissioner. Under agenda item four on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention, the Council extended the mandates of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, and the independent international fact-finding mission on Venezuela. Under agenda item 10 on technical assistance and capacity building, the Council extended the mandates of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, the team of International Experts on the Situation in Kasai, and the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic.

The Council extended 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 unilateral coercive measures, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, the open-ended intergovernmental working group to elaborate the content of an international regulatory framework on the regulation, monitoring and oversight of the activities of private military and security companies, the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, and the Working Group of Experts on people of African descent.

Two resolutions were adopted on Belarus, one after an urgent debate under agenda item one on organizational matters and the second under agenda item two on the annual report of the High Commissioner. A resolution on Venezuela was adopted under agenda item two on the annual report of the High Commissioner A resolution was adopted on Syria under agenda item four on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention. Resolutions on Yemen and on the Philippines were adopted under agenda item 10 on technical assistance and capacity building.

The Council elected by acclamation seven experts as members of the Advisory Committee : from the African Group : Dheerujlall Baramlall Seetulsingh (Mauritius) and Nadia Bernoussi (Morocco). From the Asia-Pacific Group : Buhm-Suk Baek (Republic of Korea) and Ajai Malhotra (India). From the Eastern European Group : Patrycja Anna Sasnal (Poland). From the Latin American and Caribbean Group : Elizabeth S. Salmón Gárate (Peru). From the Western European and other States Group : Catherine Van de Heyning (Belgium).

The Council also filled eight vacancies of Special Procedure mandate holders : Pedro Arrojo-Agudo (Spain) for the position of Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation ; Gerard Quinn (Ireland) for the position of Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities ; Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker (Sudan) for the position of Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea ; Mumba Malila (Zambia) for the position of Member of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ; Miriam Estrada-Castillo (Ecuador) for the position of Member of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ; Dorothy Estrada-Tanck (Mexico)for the position of Member of the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls ; Aua Baldé (Guinea-Bissau) for the position of Member of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances ; Ravindran Daniel (India) for the position of Member of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination.

The Council adopted the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of Sweden, Grenada, Turkey, Kiribati, Lesotho, Kenya, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Guinea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Guinea-Bissau and Guyana.

The proposed dates for the forty-sixth regular session of the Council are from 22 February to 19 March 2021.

Action on Resolutions under Agenda Item One on Organizational and procedural matters

In the resolution (A/HRC/45/L.1) on the situation of human rights in Belarus in the run up to the 2020 presidential election and its aftermath , adopted by a vote of 23 in favour, 2 against and 22 abstentions, the Council calls upon the Belarusian authorities to enter into a dialogue with the political opposition, and requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor closely the situation of human rights in Belarus in the context of the 2020 presidential election, to present to the Human Rights Council, before the end of 2020, an interim oral update on that situation, with recommendations, to be followed by an interactive dialogue.

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 draft 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 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 Resolutions 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 abstained, the Council calls upon the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to implement the recommendations contained in the reports of the High Commissioner submitted to the Human Rights Council at its forty-first and forty-fourth sessions. The Council further requests the High Commissioner to continue to engage with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in addressing the situation of human rights in the country and providing substantive capacity-building and technical assistance.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.25) on the human rights situation in Yemen, adopted by a vote of 22 in favour, 12 against and 12 abstained, the Council decides to renew the mandate of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts for a further period of one year, renewable as authorized by the Human Rights Council ; and also decides to transmit the report of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts to the General Assembly, and recommends that the Assembly transmit the report to all relevant bodies of the United Nations.

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.

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.

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.

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.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.27) on local government and human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council takes note with appreciation of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on effective methods to foster cooperation between local government and local stakeholders for the promotion and protection of human rights at their level, including by raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

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 requests the High Commissioner to, inter alia, 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.

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.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.33) on terrorism and human rights, adopted without a vote, 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.

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.

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 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.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.39) on the mandate of the open-ended intergovernmental working group to elaborate the content of an international regulatory framework on the regulation, monitoring and oversight of the activities of private military and security companies , adopted without a vote, the Council decides to renew the mandate of the open-ended intergovernmental working group, for a period of three years.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.41) on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes , adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes for a period of three years, and invites him to report to the Human Rights Council in accordance with its programme of work and annually to the General Assembly.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.42/Rev.1) on the safety of journalists, adopted without a vote, the Council urges political leaders, public officials and/or authorities to refrain from denigrating, intimidating or threatening the media, including individual journalists, or using misogynist or any discriminatory language towards women journalists, thereby undermining trust in the credibility of journalists and respect for the importance of independent journalism.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.24/Rev1) on promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) , adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council calls upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to, in accordance with her mandate, systematically include, as applicable, the human rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations which have been identified by the UNSC in the women and peace and security agenda in country-specific related work and relevant thematic reports, and encourages her to hold consultations with women human rights defenders, women’s organizations and women peacebuilders.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.46/Rev.1) on promoting, protecting and respecting women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights in humanitarian situations , adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to submit to the Human Rights Council at its forty-ninth session an analytical report on a comprehensive approach to promoting, protecting and respecting women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights in humanitarian situations, including good practices, challenges and lessons learned at the national, regional and international levels, with input from all relevant stakeholders, including States Members of the United Nations, United Nations bodies, agencies, funds and programmes, the treaty bodies, the special procedures of the Council, national human rights institutions and civil society organizations and women and girls in humanitarian situations.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.48/Rev.1) on the rights of the child : realizing the rights of the child through a healthy environment , adopted without a vote, the Council urges States to take effective measures to ensure that all children in vulnerable situations can exercise their rights on an equal basis with other children, and that the effects of environmental harm do not affect them disproportionately, including by strengthening the collection of disaggregated data, by requiring that childhood exposure monitoring and children’s rights impact assessment procedures take fully into account the impact of proposed policies, programmes and projects on those in the most vulnerable situations, including their gender dimensions, and by providing children at particular risk and their parents, or primary caregivers and legal guardians with assistance in accessing effective remedies. The Council calls upon States to consider ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocols thereto, and calls also for renewed efforts towards its full implementation by all parties.

Action on Resolutions under Agenda Item Four on Human Rights Situations that Require the Council’s Attention

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.36/Rev.1) on the situation of human rights in Burundi, adopted by a vote of 24 in favour, 6 against and 17 abstentions, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi for a further period of one year in order for it to continue its investigations, including with regard to the economic underpinnings of the State.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.43/Rev.1) on the situation of human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , adopted by a vote of 22 in favour, 3 against and 22 abstentions, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the independent international fact-finding mission for a period of two years, to enable the mission to continue to investigate gross violations of human rights, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including those involving sexual and gender-based violence, committed since 2014, with a view of combating impunity and ensuring full accountability for perpetrators and justice for victims.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.45) on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, adopted by a vote of 27 in favour, 1 against and 19 abstained (as orally revised)/adopted without a vote (as orally revised), the Council strongly condemns all violations and abuses of international human rights law and all violations of international humanitarian law throughout the Syrian Arab Republic, and takes note of the most recent report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic in this regard.

Action on Resolution under Agenda Item Five on Human Rights Bodies and Mechanisms

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.32) on the contribution of the Human Rights Council to the prevention of human rights violations , adopted by a vote of 32 in favour, 3 against and 11 abstentions as orally revised, the Council decides to invite the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, commencing in 2021, to brief, on an annual basis, the Human Rights Council, during one of its regular sessions under agenda item 3, on the work of the Commission, including in relation to country situations that are on the Council’s agenda.

Action on Resolution under Agenda Item Eight on Follow-up to and Implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.2 0) on national Human Rights Institutions, adopted without a vote, the Council recognizes the contribution that national human rights institutions have made to the promotion and protection, and prevention of violations, of human rights by exercising their mandates and functions consistent with the Paris Principles, and encourages them to continue to do so, including by independently assisting, advising and engaging with the State, and other stakeholders, in the prevention of violations and abuses of human rights.

Action on Resolutions under Agenda Item Nine on Racism, Racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, followup to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.44) on the commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action , adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council encourages the General Assembly to adopt a resolution, at its seventy-fifth session, requesting the organization of a one-day high-level plenary event to mark the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action during the high-level segment of the seventy-sixth session of the General Assembly, in 2021, with the aim of proclaiming together our strong determination to make the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and the protection of the victims thereof, a high priority for our countries.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.47) on the mandate of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent , adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent for a further period of three years, in accordance with the terms of reference contained in Human Rights Council resolution 9/14.

Action on Resolutions under Agenda Item 10 on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.40) on technical assistance and capacity-building to further improve human rights in the Sudan , adopted without a vote, the Council urges Member States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, relevant United Nations agencies and other stakeholders to continue to support the efforts of the Government of the Sudan to further improve the situation of human rights in the country, including by responding to the Government’s requests for technical assistance and capacity-building, and decides to end the mandate of the Independent Expert, in accordance with Human Rights Council resolutions 39/22 and 42/35.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.51) on technical assistance and capacity-building for Yemen in the field of human rights , adopted without a vote, the Council requests the High Commissioner to continue to provide substantive capacity-building and technical assistance to the Government of Yemen and technical support to the National Commission of Inquiry to ensure that the National Commission continues to investigate allegations of violations and abuses committed by all parties to the conflict in Yemen, and in line with international standards, and submits its comprehensive report on alleged human rights violations and abuses in all parts of Yemen, in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 30 of 22 August 2019, as soon as it is available, and encourages all parties to the conflict in Yemen to extend full and transparent access and cooperation to the National Commission.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.52) on assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, under agenda item 10, for a period of one year to assess, monitor and report on the situation of human rights in Somalia with a view to making recommendations on technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.26) on the enhancement of technical cooperation and capacity-building in the field of human rights , adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal 4, in accordance with human rights law and standards, in order to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.38) on technical cooperation and capacity-building for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines , adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council requests the High Commissioner and the Office of the High Commissioner, with a view to improving further the situation of human rights in the Philippines, to provide support for the country in its continued fulfilment of its international human rights obligations and commitments, taking into account the proposed United Nations joint programme on human rights to provide technical assistance and capacity-building for, inter alia, domestic investigative and accountability measures, data gathering on alleged police violations, civic space and engagement with civil society and the Commission on Human Rights, national mechanism for reporting and follow-up, counter-terrorism legislation, and human rights-based approaches to drug control.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.53) on technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo , adopted without a vote, the Council decides to renew the mandate of the team of international experts on the situation in Kasai. It further requests the Office of the High Commissioner to provide technical assistance, including the necessary forensic expertise, to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in order to support the judicial authorities in their investigations into allegations of human rights violations and abuses, with a view to bringing those responsible to justice.

In a resolution (A/HRC/45/L.54) on technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights in the Central African Republic , adopted without a vote, the Council decides to renew, for one year, the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic, which is to assess, monitor and report on the situation with a view to making recommendations relating to technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights, and requests all parties to cooperate fully with the Independent Expert in carrying out his mandate.

 

HRC20.122E