Human Rights Council
13 June 2013
The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted two resolutions under its agenda item on technical assistance and capacity building, on the Central African Republic and on national policies and human rights.
The Council called on the transitional authorities in the Central African Republic to take all necessary steps to put an immediate stop to all acts of violence against the civilian population and to take all necessary steps to ensure there was no impunity for the perpetrators. The Council requested the High Commissioner to submit to the Human Rights Council, at its twenty-fourth session, an interim report on the human rights situation and, at its twenty-fifth session, a report evaluating the needs for technical assistance and capacity-building in the Central African Republic.
Concerning national policies and human rights, the Council stressed the importance of the resolution of Heads of State and Government to integrate the promotion and protection of human rights into national policies and requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on technical assistance and capacity-building options for integrating human rights into national policies, drawing from worldwide best practices in this field.
Introducing resolutions and decisions were Gabon on behalf of the African Group, Peru and Ecuador.
Ireland on behalf of the European Union made a general comment and the United States spoke in explanation of the vote before the vote.
Central African Republic spoke as the concerned country.
The Council will resume its work at 10 a.m. on Friday, 14 June to continue to take action on decisions and resolutions before concluding its regular twenty-third session.
Action on Resolutions on Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building
Action on Technical Assistance to the Central African Republic
In a resolution (A/HRC/23/L.3) on technical assistance to the Central African Republic in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council condemns all the serious human rights violations and acts of violence perpetrated against the civilian population; encourages the efforts of the Economic Community of Central African States, the African Union, the United Nations and the partners of the Central African Republic in the stabilization process, and the transitional authorities to guarantee freedom of expression and invites them to organize a free and transparent general election; requests the support of all stakeholders and all international partners to meet the need for significant assistance and for measures identified as urgent priorities by the Central African Republic; and calls on the transitional authorities to take all necessary steps to put an immediate stop to all acts of violence against the civilian population and to take all necessary steps to ensure there is no impunity for the perpetrators. The Council also requests the High Commissioner to submit to the Human Rights Council, at its twenty-fourth session, an interim report on the human rights situation and, at its twenty-fifth session, a report evaluating the needs for technical assistance and capacity-building in the Central African Republic.
Gabon, speaking on behalf of the African Group, introducing resolution L. 3, said that the resolution was a natural consequence of the recent events in the Central African Republic, which had been experiencing political instability for decades. The resolution condemned all violations of human rights in the country and unequivocally invited the authorities to hold general, free and transparent elections and to lift all restrictions on the right to freedom of speech. Concerning the humanitarian crisis which followed the internal displacement of refugees, the resolution called the Council’s attention to the matter, thanked the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for dispatching a fact-finding mission, and asked it to report back to the Council. The resolution also appealed to the international community to show its solidarity to the Central African Republic and to provide technical assistance in the field of human rights.
Ireland, speaking on behalf of the European Union in a general comment, said that the Central African Republic had been going through a major crisis marked by serious violations of human rights. It was therefore important for the Council to mobilize its resources and provide assistance by adopting the first resolution on that country. The European Union called for an immediate halt to the serious violations of human rights and urged the authorities not to let those violations go unpunished. The resolution also proposed the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Central African Republic. It was regrettable that the text of the resolution did not condemn more explicitly the recent coup d’Etat.
Central African Republic, speaking as the concerned country, said that it adhered to the statement made by Gabon on behalf of the African Group and had no other statement to make.
United States, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it remained deeply concerned by the situation in the Central African Republic. It was pleased to join consensus on this resolution and hoped the fact-finding mission would be dispatched on an urgent basis. It took issue with reference to looting as a human rights violation and said that this was a violation of the laws of armed conflict. It would have been preferable to clarify that the transitional authorities had to address unlawful acts of violence. Nonetheless it joined consensus on the resolution.
Action on Resolution on National Policies and Human Rights
In a resolution (A/HRC/23/L.16) on national policies and human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council recognizes that State action aimed at the full realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national level is made most effective by drawing up and putting into practice national policies in conformity with obligations under international human rights law; stresses the importance of the resolution of Heads of State and Government to integrate the promotion and protection of human rights into national policies; recognizes the importance of developing, strengthening and implementing national systems for collecting, monitoring and evaluating relevant disaggregated national data as a useful tool for drawing up and assessing the impact of national policies; requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on technical assistance and capacity-building options for integrating human rights into national policies, drawing from worldwide best practices in this field and to submit the above-mentioned report to the Council at its twenty-seventh session.
Peru, introducing resolution L. 16, said that a wide range of bilateral consultations had taken place on the draft resolution. Discussions had also taken place with the United Nations to ensure that the proposal did not entail a duplication of efforts. The resolution would constitute an input to the work of the Council and would complement the efforts made by States to uphold human rights.
Ecuador, co-introducing resolution L. 16, said that planning, implementing and assessing national policies was an effective way of promoting and protecting human rights. Ecuador had developed a series of steps forward to facilitate the realization of human rights, which remained a priority in all actions undertaken by the State, and was prepared to exchange good practices with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ecuador asked for the resolution to be adopted by consensus.
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