16 August 2013
Took decisions on three studies on post-disaster situations, the impact of corruption, and international cooperation in human rights
The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee today concluded its eleventh session, from 12 to 16 August, during which it adopted three action points on studies mandated by the Human Rights Council. It also adopted its report of the session to the Council ad referendum.
The three action points, which the Advisory Committee adopted by consensus, dealt respectively with human rights in post-disaster and post-conflict situations, the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights, and on the negative impact of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights. For each of these topics, the Committee designated members of a drafting group, which were tasked with preparing a progress report to be submitted to the Committee, before presenting a report to the twenty-sixth session of the Human Rights Council which would take into account replies to questionnaires that would be sent out. Those three topics were the subject of discussions during the session. In addition to members of the Committee, Observer State Members of the Human Rights Council, non-governmental organizations and external speakers were invited to participate.
During the discussion on the promotion and protection of human rights in post-disaster and post-conflict situations, four members of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights gave examples of actions undertaken by the Office in different parts of the world and spoke about how a human rights dimension was integrated into humanitarian action. The circular nature of human rights violations in social conflicts that could degenerate into armed conflicts and humanitarian crises was also examined. The Human Rights Council requested the Advisory Committee to carry out a study on this issue, with a preliminary report to be presented in June 2014 and a final report to be presented in March 2015 (A/HRC/RES/22/16).
In a discussion on the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights, the Chairperson of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural rights, Mr. Zdislaw Kedzia, said he was in favour of a better approach to human rights within the framework of international trade. In June 2013, the Human Rights Council had requested the Advisory Committee to carry out a more in-depth study on the issue, identifying challenges and areas where further progress was needed. The Committee would submit a preliminary report to the Council at its session in June 2014 (A/HRC/RES/23/3)
The Committee also discussed the negative impact of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights. As requested by the Council (A/HRC/RES/23/9), the Committee would submit a report to the Council in June 2014. Several members of the Committee, as well as representatives from States that co-sponsored the resolution, felt that the Committee should not look to establish a list of ways of tackling corruption, but rather seek to clarify the link between the different forms of corruption and human rights and identify ways in which human rights mechanisms could adopt a human rights-based approach to the fight against corruption. The need for the Committee to examine the impact of corruption on the individual was also identified.
On new priorities and research initiatives, the Advisory Committee considered two study proposals that could be made to the Council, on the possible creation of a world human rights court, and on citizens’ safety. Members of the Committee that presented the proposal would present a concept note at the Committee’s next session.
Under standing items on its agenda, the Advisory Committee also briefly addressed the gender perspective, a democratic and equitable international order, and the realization of human rights by persons with disabilities. The Committee also addressed follow-up to reports submitted to the Council on peoples’ right to peace, the rights of peasants, the promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms through a better understanding of traditional values of humankind, as well as human rights and issues related to terrorist hostage-taking.
The Advisory Committee is a body of 18 independent experts serving as a think-tank to the Human Rights Council and mandated to provide studies and recommendations supported by research to the Council, upon the request of the Council. The Committee is not mandated to adopt resolutions or decisions.
The eleventh session of the Advisory Committee was also the last for six out its 18 expert members, whose second mandate of three years would come to an end, and who had been members of the Committee since its establishment, when it replaced the Sub-Committee on Human Rights. Those were the Chairperson, Mr. Woflgang Stefan Heinz, Mr. Jose Antonio Bengoa Cabello, Ms. Chung Chinsung, Mr. Vladimir Kartashkin, Mr. Shigeki Sakamoto and Ms. Mona Zulficar. New members would be elected by the Human Rights Council at its upcoming session in September 2013.
The report on the work of the eleventh session of the Advisory Committee and additional documentation will be made available on the Committee’s webpage. In particular, the report of the session would be available next week under document number A/HRC/AC/11/2.
The twelfth session of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee will take place in Geneva from 24 to 28 February 2014.
For use of the information media; not an official record