Human Rights Council
8 June 2016
The Human Rights Council will hold its thirty-second regular session from 13 June to 1 July 2016 in the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
The three-week session will include a high-level panel discussion on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Human Rights Council with the participation of former Council presidents. Panels will also take place on the thirtieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development, on the use of sport and the Olympic ideal to promote human rights for all, and on the contribution of parliaments to the work of the Council and the Universal Periodic Review. A full-day general discussion will be held on the human rights of women.
In addition, the Council will hold interactive dialogues with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, the Commission on Inquiry on Eritrea and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus. It will hold an enhanced interactive dialogue on South Sudan.
The programme of the thirty-second session, inter alia, includes interactive dialogues with the Special Rapporteur on racism; the independent experts on the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, and on the situation in Ukraine and Burundi; and clustered interactive dialogues with the Special Rapporteurs on migrants and on poverty; on health and on human trafficking; on education and international solidarity; on transnational corporations and on internally displaced persons on judges and lawyers and on peaceful assembly; on violence against women and on discrimination against women; and on freedom of expression and on summary executions.
Click here for the detailed agenda of the thirty-second session. Reports of the session can be found here, and other information can be found on the homepage of the Human Rights Council website. All public Council meetings will be webcast live at UNTV at the following address: http://webtv.un.org.
Week One of the Session
The thirty-second session of the Human Rights Council will be opened by Choi Kyong-lim, President of the Council, on Monday, 13 June at 10 a.m. The Council will then hear an oral update by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on the activities of his Office since the previous session. A general debate will ensue, to be followed by a panel discussion on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Council with the participation of former Council presidents who will reflect on their experiences in the Council, the achievements of the organisation over the decade and remaining challenges.
On 14 June, the Council will hold a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on migrants and the Special Rapporteur on poverty, while in the afternoon on the same day a clustered interactive dialogue will take place with the Special Rapporteur on health and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking. On Wednesday, 15 June, a panel discussion will be held on the thirtieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development, to be followed by a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to education and the Independent Expert on international solidarity.
The following day, 16 June, the Council will hold a full-day annual discussion on the human rights of women as well as a clustered interactive dialogue with the Working Group on transnational corporations and human rights and the Special Rapporteur on internally displaced persons. The first week will finish on Friday, 17 June with a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers and the Special Rapporteur on peaceful assembly and association, in the morning, and a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on violence against women and the Working Group on discrimination against women, in the afternoon.
All 193 United Nations Member States will be present during the first days of the session, making this the first time there will be universal participation at the Human Rights Council. This is possible due to the participation of 16 Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries that do not have Permanent Missions in Geneva who rarely have the opportunity to participate in Council meetings. Their participation in the thirty-second session is made possible due to the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund.
Week Two of the Session
On Monday, 20 June, the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression and the Special Rapporteur on summary executions will discuss their latest reports with the Council. The Council will also hear presentations of thematic reports of the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner on issues including violence against women, civilian use of firearms and climate change, which will be followed by a general debate.
On 21 June, the Council will hold three interactive dialogues: with the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, which will present an oral update on the latest developments in the country; with the Special Rapporteur on Belarus; and with the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea which will present a comprehensive written report. The following day, 22 June, will commence with an enhanced interactive dialogue on South Sudan with the participation of senior Government officials, to be followed by a general debate. In the afternoon, there will be a panel discussion on the contributions of parliaments to the work of the Council and the Universal Periodic Review.
On Thursday, 23 June, the Council will consider the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Reviews of the following six countries: Namibia, Niger, Mozambique, Estonia, Paraguay and Belgium. It will also hear presentations of reports of the Social Forum, Forum on Business and human rights and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Friday, 24 June will be dedicated to the consideration of the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Reviews of these eight countries: Denmark, Palau, Somalia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Latvia, Sierra Leone and Singapore, along with the continuation of a general debate.
Week Three of the Session
The final week of the thirty-second session will start with a general debate on agenda items 6 - Universal Periodic Review; 7 - Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories; and 8 - Follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. The same day in the afternoon, the Council will hold an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on racism. Interactive dialogues with Independent Experts on the Central African Republic and Côte d’Ivoire will take place on Tuesday, 28 June. The same day, the Council will hold a panel discussion on the use of sport and the Olympic ideal to promote human rights for all.
On 29 June, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will provide updates on the situations in Ukraine and Burundi, which will be followed by interactive dialogues. In the afternoon, other High Commissioner country reports and oral updates, on human rights situations in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, will be followed by a general debate.
On Thursday, 30 June, the High Commissioner will make an oral presentation to the Council on technical cooperation, while the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights will present a comprehensive report on the Board’s work to the Council, to be followed by a general debate. The Council will take action on the draft resolutions and decisions tabled during the session on 30 June and 1 July.
Before concluding the session, the President of the Council will appoint the following new independent expert mandate holders: the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief; the Special Rapporteur on the right to education; and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The Human Rights Council
The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States which are responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. The Council was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 15 March 2006 with the main purpose of addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them.
The composition of the Council at its thirty-second session is as follows: Albania (2017); Algeria (2016); Bangladesh (2017); Belgium (2018); Bolivia (2017); Botswana (2017); Burundi (2018); China (2016); Congo (2017); Côte d’Ivoire (2018); Cuba (2016); Ecuador (2018); El Salvador (2017); Ethiopia (2018); France (2016); Georgia (2018); Germany (2018); Ghana (2017); India (2017); Indonesia (2017); Kenya (2018); Kyrgyzstan (2018); Latvia (2017); Maldives (2016); Mexico (2016); Mongolia (2018); Morocco (2016); Namibia (2016); Netherlands (2017); Nigeria (2017); Panama (2018); Paraguay (2017); Philippines (2018); Portugal (2017); Qatar (2017); Republic of Korea (2018); Russian Federation (2016); Saudi Arabia (2016); Slovenia (2018); South Africa (2016); Switzerland (2018); the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2016); Togo (2018); United Arab Emirates (2018); United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2016); Venezuela (2018); Viet Nam (2016).
The President of the Human Rights Council is Choi Kyong-lim, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office at Geneva, who took up the post on 1 January 2016. The Council’s four Vice Presidents are Ramón Alberto Morales Quijano of Panama, Janis Karklins of Latvia, Negash Kebret Botora of Ethiopia and Bertrand de Crombrugghe of Belgium. Mr. de Crombrugghe is the Rapporteur of the Council.
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