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Closing remarks by the President of the Human Rights Council at the close of the 22nd regular session of the Council

22 March 2013

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

As we near the end of the session, I would like to seize this opportunity to thank all delegations, as well as representatives of the national human rights institutions and civil society for all your support and cooperation in the course of the last four weeks. Allow me also to express my appreciation for an excellent work done by the Secretariat of the Council, the Conference Management Service, the interpreters, the Department of Public Information and the Security officers.

Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me make a few comments on issues which, in my view, are of importance for the Council’s work.

First, I continue to encourage all those who participate in the Council’s work, including the representatives of States and non-governmental organisations, to discuss all issues with appropriate level of dignity and respect. Tolerance and respect for others’ views must remain our guiding principles in the course of the Council’s discussion. I hope that I can count on your support in ensuring that a sense of respect will always permeate our discussions in the Council.

Second, this session, the very late submission of some draft resolutions as well as the high number of revisions or amendments tabled made it somewhat difficult for many delegations, especially small ones, to keep up with the work pace and stay abreast of the developments. It was also not possible for the secretariat and conference services to ensure that all texts in all languages and PBIs would be available on time. Let me recall the IB Package by stressing that our methods of work should be transparent, impartial, equitable, fair, pragmatic; lead to clarity, predictability, and inclusiveness. It is in our own interest to follow these principles, particularly by early submission of the initiatives by the end penultimate week of the session at the latest.

Observing these principles and good practices will let us all to proceed with our work in the most effective way.

And last, but not least, allow me to reiterate that as it has been stressed by me on a number of occasions, as well as by many delegations, any acts of intimidation or reprisals against individuals and groups who cooperate or have cooperated with the United Nations and its representatives are unacceptable and must end. I would like to echo the Council’s review outcome in urging States to prevent and ensure adequate protection against such acts.

Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As the session comes to an end, let me once again thank you all for your constructive, personal engagement during the last four weeks. I am convinced that this session has further contributed to the full enjoyment of all human rights for all.

Thank you.