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Human Rights Council Concludes Forty-Ninth Regular Session after Adopting 35 Resolutions

Meeting Summaries

 

Council Establishes a Commission of Inquiry on the Russian Federation’s Aggression against Ukraine and a Group of Human Rights Experts on Nicaragua, Renews 10 Mandates and Appoints 11 Mandate Holders

 

The Human Rights Council today concluded its forty-ninth regular session after adopting 35 resolutions, in which it, among others, established a commission of inquiry on the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, and a group of human rights experts on Nicaragua. The Council also extended 10 mandates and appointed 11 mandate holders.

The session started with a four-day high-level segment in which around 130 dignitaries participated. This was followed by an urgent debate on the situation of human rights in Ukraine following the Russian aggression, which resulted in the Council establishing an independent international commission of inquiry with a mandate to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, and related crimes, in the context of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, and to establish the facts, circumstances, and root causes of any such violations and abuses; and to make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to ending impunity and ensuring accountability.

The Council established a group of three human rights experts on Nicaragua, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, with a mandate inter alia to conduct thorough and independent investigations into all alleged human rights violations and abuses committed in Nicaragua since April 2018, including the possible gender dimensions of such violations and abuses, and their structural root causes.

In resolutions adopted during the last two days of the session, the Council decided to extend the mandates of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan for one year; and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, and the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, each for a period of three years.

It extended the mandates of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, each for a period of one year.

The Council also extend for one year the mandate of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to, inter alia, carry out a comprehensive examination of all alleged human rights violations committed in Belarus since 1 May 2020; the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic; and the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali.

The Council also appointed 11 Special Procedure mandate holders.

Federico Villegas, President of the Human Rights Council, in his concluding remarks, said this had been the longest session in the history of the Council. It had been a great challenge for multilateral diplomacy. It was essential to maintain the spirit of constructive dialogue when it came to implementing the mandates that emerged from the resolutions adopted by the Council at this session. The legacy of the session of the Human Rights Council was 35 resolutions adopted, 18 by consensus and 16 that went to a vote. It was not a matter of picking and choosing the mandate that one liked and ignoring the mandate that one did not. It was about moving together the main machinery created by the international community for the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.

The fiftieth regular session of the Human Rights Council is scheduled to be held from 13 June to 8 July 2022.

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

In a resolution on the situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression, the Human Rights Council decided to establish an independent international commission of inquiry, constituted of three human rights experts, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council for an initial duration of one year, complementing and building upon the work of the human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine, with a mandate, inter alia, to establish the facts and circumstances that may amount to violations and abuses of human rights or violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine.

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 on advancing human rights in South Sudan, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan for a period of one year.

In a resolution on the protection and promotion of human rights in Nicaragua, the Council decided to establish, for a period of one year, a group of three human rights experts on Nicaragua, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, with a mandate inter alia to conduct thorough and independent investigations into all alleged human rights violations and abuses committed in Nicaragua since April 2018, including the possible gender dimensions of such violations and abuses, and their structural root causes.

Action on 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 on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to end the reporting on the implementation of Human Rights Council resolutions S-9/1 and S-12/1; and requested the High Commissioner to report on the implementation of the present resolution to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-second session, to be followed by an interactive dialogue

In a resolution on freedom of religion and belief, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief for a further period of three years to facilitate the continued promotion, protection and universal implementation of the right.

In a resolution on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, the Council requests the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights to continue her work, and to study establishing an effective, impartial and responsive mechanism to assess, document, report and follow up the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures.

In a resolution on cultural rights and the protection of cultural heritage, the Council requested the High Commissioner to refine and develop appropriate tools for the dissemination of an approach to the protection, restoration and preservation of cultural heritage, and to convene a one-day workshop to review and promote the tools for the dissemination and possible methods of implementation of an approach to the protection, restoration and preservation of cultural heritage.

In a resolution on the commemoration of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development, the Council decided to convene at its fifty-second session a full-day high-level meeting on the promotion and protection of the right to development as a celebration of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development.

In a resolution on prevention of genocide, the Council invited the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide to an interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Council at its fifty-third session on the progress made in discharging her/his duties.

In a resolution on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism for a period of three years.

In a resolution on the right to work, the Council decided to organize a panel during the fifty-first session of the Council on the future of the right to work in connection with climate change actions, responses and impacts in the context of sustainable and inclusive economies, to identify the major challenges, experiences and best practices.

In a resolution on the participation of persons with disabilities in sport, and statistics and data collection, the Council decided that its next annual interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities will be held at its fifty-second session, and will focus on support systems to ensure community inclusion of persons with disabilities.

In a resolution on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a period of three years to enable the mandate holder to continue to work in accordance with the mandate established by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 6/2 of 27 September 2007.

In a resolution on the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, the Council commended the Special Rapporteur on minority issues for his work and requested the High Commissioner to continue to present an annual report to the Human Rights Council containing information on relevant developments.

In a resolution on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, the Council invited the Independent Expert to give, in accordance with her mandate, appropriate consideration to the impact of all international financial obligations on groups living below the poverty line, including women, youth, children, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, migrants and persons belonging to national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities suffering from socioeconomic inequalities and discrimination.

In a resolution on the promotion of the enjoyment of the cultural rights of everyone and respect for cultural diversity, the Council took note with appreciation of the initial report of the new mandate holder on the preliminary workplan for the mandate and the thematic areas identified therein, and called upon all Governments to cooperate with and to assist the Special Rapporteur.

In a resolution on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to non-discrimination in this context, the Council welcomed the work of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context and took note of his reports, including his most recent report on discrimination, spatial segregation and the right to adequate housing.

In a resolution on the contribution of human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders, in conflict and post-conflict situations, to the enjoyment and realization of human rights, the Council encouraged States to avail themselves of technical assistance in follow-up to the present and previous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council on the protection, individually and collectively, of human rights defenders.

In a resolution on addressing inequalities in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council requested the High Commissioner to convene a three-day workshop before the fifty-second session of the Human Rights Council, open to the participation of States, relevant treaty bodies and mandate holders, academia, civil society and other relevant stakeholders, to discuss practical ways to further enhance and strengthen work of the Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in promoting and protecting economic, social, and cultural rights.

In a resolution on the rights of the child: realizing the rights of the child and family reunification, the Council requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize its annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child in 2023 on the theme, “Rights of the child and the digital environment”, and requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on the rights of the child and inclusive social protection.

Prior to adopting the resolution, it voted on and rejected four amendments.

In a resolution on the role of States in countering the negative impact of disinformation on the enjoyment and realization of human rights, the Council decided to convene, at its fiftieth session, a high-level panel discussion on countering the negative impact of disinformation on the enjoyment and realization of human rights and on ensuring a human rights-based response.

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

In a resolution on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for a period of one year.

In a resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for a further period of one year.

In a resolution on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran for a further period of one year.

In a resolution on the situation of human rights in Belarus in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election and in its aftermath, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to, inter alia, carry out a comprehensive examination of all alleged human rights violations committed in Belarus since 1 May 2020.

Prior to adopting the resolution, it voted on and rejected two amendments.

In a resolution on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry for a period of one year. The Council further requested the Commission of Inquiry to present an oral update to the Council during the interactive dialogue at its fiftieth session and to present an updated written report during an interactive dialogue at the fifty-first and fifty-second sessions of the Council.

Action on Resolutions under Agenda Item Seven on Human Rights Situation in Palestine and other Occupied Palestinian Territories

In a resolution on the Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, the Council reaffirmed the Palestinian people’s right to live in freedom, justice and dignity and the right to their independent State of Palestine. The Council called upon all States to ensure their obligations of non-recognition, non-aid or assistance with regard to the serious breaches of peremptory norms of international law by Israel; to adopt measures to promote the realization of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people; and to assist the United Nations in carrying out its responsibilities regarding the implementation of this right.

In a resolution on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, the Council reaffirmed that the Israeli settlements established since 1967 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal under international law, constituted a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace The Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to report on the implementation of the provisions of this resolution at the Council’s fifty-second session.

In a resolution on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan, the Council deplored the practices of the Israeli occupation authorities affecting the human rights of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan, and requested the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Governments, the competent United Nations organs, specialized agencies, international and regional intergovernmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations, to disseminate it as widely as possible and to report on this matter to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-second session.

Action on Resolution under Agenda Item Nine on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Forms of Intolerance, Follow-up to and Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

In a resolution on Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief, the Council called upon all States to take effective measures to ensure that public functionaries did not discriminate against individuals on the basis of religion or belief, to promote religious freedom and pluralism, to counter religious profiling, and to provide updates on efforts made in this regard to the Office of the High Commissioner. It further requested the High Commissioner to prepare and submit to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-second session a comprehensive follow-up report on the measures taken by States based on the recommendations of the Council.

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

In a resolution on Strengthening the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the Work of the Human Rights Council, adopted without a vote, the Council encouraged the Trust Fund to continue its training and capacity-building activities. The Council requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report that will evaluate the activities of the Trust Fund and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its sixty-fourth session.

In a resolution on Cooperation with Georgia, the Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to provide technical assistance through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Tbilisi; and requested the High Commissioner to present to the Council, in accordance with its resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007, an oral update on the follow-up to the present resolution at its fiftieth session, and to present a written report on developments relating to and the implementation of the present resolution at its fifty-first session.

In a resolution on technical assistance and capacity-building for Mali in the field of human rights, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali for a period of one year in order to permit him to evaluate the situation of human rights in Mali and to provide his assistance in ensuring the promotion, protection and implementation of human rights and strengthening the rule of law. The Council requests the Independent Expert to submit a report to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-second session. The Council also decides to hold a dialogue at its fifty-second session.

In a resolution on technical assistance and capacity-building for South Sudan, the Council requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in cooperation with the Government of South Sudan and relevant mechanisms of the African Union, to urgently assist South Sudan to address human rights challenges in the post-conflict transition. The Council also requests the Office of the High Commissioner to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-first session, to be followed by an interactive dialogue, including on progress made with the participation of representatives of the African Union, and to present a comprehensive report to the Council at its fifty-second session, to be followed by an interactive dialogue.

Appointment of 11 Special Procedure Mandate Holders

The President of the Human Rights Council announced the appointment of the following 11 Special Procedure mandate holders appointed by the Human Rights Council: Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, member from Central and Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia – Antonina Gorbunova (Russian Federation); Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, member from Central and South America, and the Caribbean - Anexa Brendalee Alfred Cunningham (Nicaragua);

Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, member from the Pacific - Valmaine Toki (New Zealand); Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change - Ian FRY (Tuvalu);

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan - Richard Bennett (New Zealand); Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burundi - Fortuné Gaetan Zongo (Burkina Faso); Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 - Francesca P. ALBANESE (Italy); Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, member from Western European and other States - Matthew Gillett (New Zealand);

Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, member from Asia-Pacific States - Angkhana Neelapaijit (Thailand); Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, member from Asia-Pacific States - Pichamon Yeophantong (Thailand); and

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, member from Latin American and Caribbean States - Carlos Alberto Salazar Couto (Peru).

 

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not an official record. English and French versions of our releases are different as they are the product of two separate coverage teams that work independently.

 

HRC22.060E