dcsimg


Header image for news printout

Human Rights Council adopts two resolutions, appoints mandate holders and closes its thirtieth session

AFTERNOON

2 October 2015

Council Adopts Two Resolutions on the Right to Development and on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order; Appoints Three Special Procedure Mandate Holders and Four Members of the Advisory Committee

The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted two resolutions, on the right to development and on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order. It also appointed three Special Procedure Mandate Holders and four members of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee before closing its thirtieth session.

In a resolution on the right to development, adopted by a vote of 33 in favour, 10 against and four abstentions, the Council decided to convene a two-day formal meeting of the Working Group after its seventeenth session to consider further and discuss the document containing the draft set of standards; it requested the High Commissioner to prepare a paper on the realization of the right to development, and the General Assembly to consider holding a high-level segment on the right to development during its seventy-first session.

In a resolution on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, adopted by a vote of 31 in favour, 14 against and two abstentions, the Council requested the Independent Expert to continue developing studies on the adverse human rights impacts of international investment agreements, bilateral investment treaties and multilateral free trade agreements on the international order; and to submit a report to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-third session.

To fill four vacant seats in the Advisory Committee, the Council appointed Imeru Tamrat Yigezu for African States. For the Asian States it appointed Ibrahim Abdul Aziz Al Sheddi. For the vacant seat of the Latin American and Caribbean States it appointed Mario Luis Coriolano. For the Western European and Other States, it appointed Katharina Pabel.

As for the Special Procedures, the Council appointed Karima Bennoune (United States) as Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights; Ahmed Reid (Jamaica) as a member of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent from Latin American and Caribbean States; and Henrikas Mickevicius (Lithuania) as a member of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances from Eastern European States.

The Council then adopted ad referendum the report of its thirtieth session, presented by Mothusi Bruce Rabasha Palai, Human Rights Council Vice-President and Rapporteur.

In his closing remarks, Joackim Rücker, President of the Human Rights Council, thanked Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Flavia Pansieri, for all of her commitment and dedication to the cause of human rights, and the professionalism and tremendous efforts she put daily in upholding respect for human rights throughout the world, fostering dialogue and cooperation in this field, as well as mainstreaming human rights and coordinating the human rights work among various stakeholders.

The President also said that the Bureau would continue to address concerns expressed throughout the session, in particular by small States, within the scope of its mandate, in order to make the Council more efficient in preparing its tenth cycle. The President would continue with the implementation of the Presidential Statement adopted at the twenty-ninth session, in particular with improving the Voluntary Calendar and the Website & Extranet of the Human Rights Council. Any act of intimidation or reprisal against individuals and groups who cooperated or had cooperated with the United Nations and its mechanisms was unacceptable and must end, Mr. Rücker said. He stressed the responsibility of all to take all necessary measures to prevent and ensure adequate protection against such acts.

Presenting draft resolutions and draft amendments were Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and Cuba.

Speaking in general comments were India, China, Sierra Leone, Cuba, Venezuela and South Africa.

Speaking in explanation of the vote before or after the vote were United States, Netherlands on behalf of the European Union, Japan, Saudi Arabia on behalf of a group of countries, Argentina, Pakistan, China, United Kingdom, Japan, Republic of Korea, Ireland on behalf of a group of States, South Africa and Algeria on behalf of the African Group.

The following observer States spoke on the resolutions adopted: Egypt, Switzerland, Iran and Czech Republic.

Algeria on behalf of the African Group, Ireland, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria spoke in general concluding remarks.

Arab Commission for Human Rights; as well as Human Rights Watch, in a joint statement with International Service for Human Rights, Article 19, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, CIVICUS, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, Human Rights Law Centre, International Federation for Human Rights Leagues, and World Organization Against Torture, also spoke in general concluding remarks.

The thirty-first regular session of the Human Rights Council will be held from 29 February to 25 March 2016.

Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Right to Development

Action on Resolution on the Right to Development

In a resolution (A_HRC_30_L.12) on the right to development, adopted by a vote of 33 in favour, 10 against and 4 abstentions, the Council urges the High Commissioner to pursue his efforts, in fulfilment of his mandated responsibility, to enhance support for the promotion and protection of the realization of the right to development; decides to continue to act to ensure that its agenda promotes and advances sustainable development and the achievement of the remaining Millennium Development Goals as well as Sustainable Development Goals and to convene a two-day formal meeting of the Working Group, after the seventeenth session to consider further and discuss the document containing the draft set of standards; requests, as part of the activities to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development, the High Commissioner to seek the views of Member States in preparing a paper on the realization and implementation of the right to development, and the United Nations General Assembly to consider holding a high-level segment on the right to development during the general debate of its seventy-first session.


The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (33): Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, , Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.

Against (10): Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Montenegro, Netherlands, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom, and United States of America.

Abstentions (4): Albania, Japan, Portugal, and Republic of Korea.


Iran, introducing resolution L.12 on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, stated that the 2030 development agenda emphasized the right to development. The draft resolution reflected the utmost flexibility of the Non-Aligned Movement during the discussions. The draft resolution aimed at the betterment of the lives of all people across the globe, and requested that the next General Assembly highlight the key role of the right to development in sustainable development. Member States should cooperate with each other to eliminate barriers to development, and the Working Group would continue to accomplish its mandate during its next session. The draft resolution called for the elaboration of comprehensive and clear standards for the realization of the right to development. The Non-Aligned Movement expressed hope that the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus.

India, speaking in a general comment, noted that the right to development was a universal and integral part of fundamental rights. Despite that, the Council and its mechanisms had relegated it to secondary importance. At a time when the international community had adopted a new and ambitious development agenda, it was important to emphasize the right to development and the achievement of the sustainable development goals, and to make meaningful progress towards the realization of all human rights. The question of the right to development was as relevant to the Global North as to the Global South in terms of achieving the practical realization of the right to development. Nevertheless, there was a deliberate attempt to stall progress. India recommended that the seventy-first session of the General Assembly give consideration to the issue.

China, speaking in a general comment, said that the right to development was inalienable. Achieving this right was the aim of all developing countries. Since 1987 when the General Assembly had adopted the Declaration of the Right to Development, there had been numerous efforts to achieve this right, but its realization was still faced with many challenges. The realization of the right to development required that the international community and all countries work together, and China called upon countries to adopt a constructive attitude so that the mandate of the Working Group could be extended.

Sierra Leone, speaking in a general comment, said that the resolution was timely in the wake of the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals last week, which were universal and called for no one to be left behind. The resolution stressed the primary responsibility of States for the creation of national and international conditions favourable for the realization of the right to development, and it recognized cooperation between States in removing obstacles to the realization of the right to development. Sierra Leone stressed that the Working Group was even more relevant now, to give meaning to the development-based approach to the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda.

Cuba, speaking in a general comment, supported the draft resolution on the right to development and regretted the opposition of some countries to the continuation of the mandate of the Working Group. Cuba opposed any attempt to reinterpret the right to development, it was not operationalizing human rights in development, but operationalizing human rights in policies and programmes of institutions. Not supporting this draft resolution would be showing lack of political will to the realization of the right to development.

Venezuela, speaking in a general comment, fully supported the draft resolution. More than ever the international community needed to make the right to development a reality because without it all other rights could not be realized. Venezuela therefore supported the proposal to establish a legally binding document in the form of a convention on the right to development.

South Africa, speaking in a general comment, noted that there was an urgent need for the United Nations human rights machinery to operationalize the right to development through a convention. As the international community embarked on the 2030 development agenda, serious work needed to be undertaken to make the right to development a reality. The right to development entailed constant improvement of the lives of people everywhere. The primary focus of the Working Group should be the elaboration of a convention on the right development, and the establishment of a global partnership for development. All agencies should work for the full realization of the right to development.

United States, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the United States had a long-standing commitment to alleviating poverty throughout the world. As President Obama had noted in New York this week, the active engagement in the 2030 Agenda for Development was a part of a larger United States commitment to development. The United States called for a vote and would vote against this text.

Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the right to development required the full realization of civil and political rights, and the realization of economic, social and cultural rights, as well as a mix of policies, creating an enabling environment for individuals to enjoy. The primary responsibility for the realization of the right to development and its enjoyment by citizens was with States. The European Union was not in favour of the elaboration of an international legal standard with a binding nature, as it was not an appropriate tool for the realization of the right to development. Fundamental differences on the right to development remained, and the European Union was disappointed that the Non-Aligned Movement had not shown flexibility in the negotiation of the draft resolution. Consequently, the European Union will vote against the draft resolution.

Japan, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, stated that it was important to maintain an informed and consensual approach to discussions about the right to development. Japan was pleased that various approaches were harmonized and it looked forward to the next round of negotiations within the Working Group. Nevertheless, it expressed concern that new elements were added to the draft resolution in the past several years. Accordingly, Japan would not support the text this year. It also regretted that parts of the negotiations had not been held in a transparent manner.

Action on Resolution on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order

In a resolution (A_HRC_30_L.14) on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, adopted by a vote of 31 in favour, 14 against and 2 abstentions, the Council declares that democracy includes respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms and is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems; calls upon all Member States to fulfil their commitment expressed during the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance; urges States to continue their efforts, through enhanced international cooperation, towards the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order; requests the Independent Expert to continue developing studies on the adverse human rights impacts of international investment agreements, bilateral investment treaties and multilateral free trade agreements on the international order; and requests the Independent Expert to submit to the Human Rights Council, at its thirty-third session, a report on the implementation of the present resolution.


The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (31): Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Maldives, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.

Against (14): Albania, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Korea, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom, and United States of America.

Abstentions (2): Mexico, and Paraguay.


Cuba, introducing the draft resolution L.14 on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, said that the text called on the Independent Expert to continue his study of the impact of international investment agreements on human rights. It condemned the attempts to overthrow legitimate governments and their corresponding impact on international order. Within an international context, which was unjust and unequal in which asymmetry was growing, official development assistance was decreasing. A fair and equitable international order was essential so that countries could guarantee the right to development to their peoples.

Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that it was necessary to work towards an equitable international order. However, a number of the elements in the text moved beyond the remit of the Human Rights Council, and it overlooked the aspects of the promotion and protection of human rights on the national level. The potential of the mandate of the Independent Expert was exhausted and the European Union would vote against the draft resolution.

United States, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said the Council was not the proper forum for the discussion of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. The language that such agreements had a negative effect on human rights was inappropriate and the United States would thus vote against the draft resolution.

Explanations of the Vote after the Vote after the End of Voting on Texts under Agenda Item Three

Saudi Arabia, speaking on behalf of a group of countries in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said that the final text of the resolution on the administration of justice, including juvenile justice, contained controversial notions which were not universally agreed, such as rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, which did not have any legal foundation. The group of countries reaffirmed the legal obligation of States to safeguard the human rights of their people on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights treaties. The group of countries disassociated themselves from preambular paragraph 7 of this text and wanted that to be reflected.

Argentina, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, on resolution L.15 on the use of mercenaries in blocking the exercise of the right to self-determination, and on resolution L.14 on the equitable international order, said that Argentina supported the right to self-determination of people and said that the mentioned resolutions must be interpreted in alignment of the United Nations resolutions, and the decisions of Decolonization Committee, including those on the Falkland Islands, which were illegitimately occupied by the United Kingdom.

Pakistan, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, stated that Pakistan strongly supported draft resolution L.12. The right to development was a prerequisite for economic, social and cultural development. The international community had to treat that right in the same way as other rights. A coherent set of standards for development and their monitoring was needed. The way forward on the promotion of the right to development required political will. It was thus disappointing that the negotiations on the draft resolution had shown that some countries were not interested in advancing the right to development.

China, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote with respect to draft resolution L.25/Rev.1, stated that violent extremism and terrorism were the common enemy of mankind. China suffered from it and it opposed all types of violence and terrorism. China would work with the United Nations to resolutely fight such phenomena. The principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter had to be fully respected when relevant resolutions and measures were taken. The promotion of double standards and selectiveness was unacceptable, which was why China had abstained from voting on the resolution.

United Kingdom, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote with respect to draft resolutions L.14 and L.15, emphasized that it had no doubts on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. The 2013 referendum, when the majority of people voted for the union with the United Kingdom, had sent a clear message that the people of the Falkland Island did not want dialogue on sovereignty and Argentina had to respect their decision.

Japan, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, thanked the main sponsors of the resolution on the administration of justice, including juvenile justice for incorporating Japan’s revisions, and said that it was not in a position to accept a paragraph in the resolution as it was contrary to the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. With regards to several other resolutions adopted during the session, Japan called upon the sponsors to take into account the costs and the financial situation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Republic of Korea, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, welcomed the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Development and acknowledged the right to development as one of the core values in the United Nations. As a country which experienced both industrialization and democratization, the primary responsibility for development was with States; it required a mix of policies, good governance and participation of people. The views on the legally binding instrument on the right to development were still diverging in the Working Group and the Republic of Korea hoped it would soon be overcome.

Ireland, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote on behalf of a group of States regarding the resolution on countering terrorism, reiterated the group’s commitment to combat terrorism in respect with human rights, and underlined the importance of human rights education to prevent extremism. It was concerned however about the introduction of language requiring civil society organizations to act in accordance with “national priorities”. The language on new communication technologies also did not fall in line with already agreed upon language at the United Nations. The group also regretted the manner in which the adoption of the resolution was conducted, including the introduction of new amendments just before action, with no time granted to consult with capitals.

South Africa, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, was shocked by remarks from the United States delegation singling out South Africa and accusing it on having negotiated in bad faith. This language was not acceptable in international diplomacy. South Africa would never be intimidated by big countries in such a manner.

Algeria, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote on behalf of the African Group, explained that the positions it had expressed were made as the position of the African countries and of the African Union.

United States, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, was pleased to join the consensus on the draft resolution L.16. It joined the consensus even though the resolution had called for some measures that were not in line with the United States Constitution. As for the assertion in the draft resolution that life imprisonment under the age of 18 and pre-trial detentions should be avoided, the United States noted that those were not obligations imposed on States by customary law. They should be regulated under individual circumstances and were the competence of domestic legal institutions. Assertion that States should have a mechanism for the monitoring of prisons was also not an obligation of States.

Election of Members of the Advisory Committee

JOACHIM RÜCKER, President of the Human Rights Council, said that the Council had decided to elect without a ballot new members of the Advisory Committee: Imeru Tamrat Yigezu, for the vacant seat for the African States; Ibrahim Abdul Aziz Al Sheddi, for the vacant seat for the Asia-Pacific States; Mario Luis Coriolano, for the vacant seat for the Latin American and Caribbean States; and Katharina Pabel, for the vacant seat for the Western European and other States.

Appointment of Special Procedure Mandate Holders

JOACHIM RÜCKER, President of the Human Rights Council, said that on the basis of the recommendations of the Consultative Group, the list of candidates had been circulated to all delegations on 29 September 2015 and posted on the Extranet as well. In line with the recommendations of the Consultative Group, the President said that he had decided to appoint Karima Bennoune, from the United States as Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights; Ahmed Reid, from Jamaica as a member of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent from Latin American and Caribbean States; and Henrikas Mickevicius, from Lithuania as a member of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances from Eastern European States.

The Council then endorsed the list of Special Procedure mandate holders.

Mr. Rücker underlined the important work that Special Procedure mandate-holders did for the Council and stressed once again the need for full cooperation with Council’s mechanisms. This was essential to allow them to fulfil their mandates effectively.

General Comments by Observer States

Egypt said that it was obvious that the only universally agreed framework for the participation of citizens in political and public affairs was article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. On the resolution on combatting violent extremism, Egypt said that the adopted text was completely different from the original text - it introduced for the first time the concept of violent extremism in Geneva. Egypt supported resolution L.16 and said it was within its national framework. Egypt welcomed the cooperation that had led to the adoption of the resolutions on Yemen and Sudan.

Switzerland was very concerned about violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Syria and all the conflict there in general. Switzerland was a co-sponsor of resolution L.5 and thought that the denomination for terrorists did not change the status of people in international humanitarian law and human rights law. Switzerland regretted the situation of the people in Yemen and deplored that the Human Rights Council did not have an independent mechanism for accountability in Yemen. The fact that countries were deposing alternative texts on Yemen was not contributive to the dialogue and good work of the Human Rights Council.

Iran said that its main objective in presenting the initiative on L.24 was to have Human Rights Council engagement. It did not appreciate that the initiators of the draft had a selective approach. With regards to the draft resolution on Yemen, it was regrettable that it had been adopted with a one sided approach. On the draft resolution on the death penalty, it was regrettable that no mention of countries’ international obligations had been made.

Czech Republic, speaking about L25/REV.1 that was adopted this morning, said it fully supported combatting extremism. It joined others to co-sponsor the draft resolution on interplay between violent extremism and the protection and respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms. It was regrettable however that the initiators had made last minute amendments that did not reflect the true balance of the text. The adoption of the resolution was welcomed, but the oral revision was disapproved.

Statement by the Rapporteur of the Council

MOTHUSI BRUCE RABASHA PALAI, Vice President and Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council, introduced the draft report of the thirtieth session of the Human Rights Council, with description of the work from the beginning and until before the Council had started taking action on draft proposals. Delegations could send corrections within two weeks of the publishing of the draft report on the extranet of the Council. Mr. Palai thanked the Secretariat, all delegations and civil society organizations for their active contribution to the work of the Council.

General Concluding Remarks

Algeria, speaking on behalf of the African Group, thanked all countries that had expressed consensual positions on the matters important for the African Group, and the colleagues from the African Group for having facilitated the work of the Group, all experts and officials, and the President of the Council and his team.

Ireland expressed concern over some aspects of the thirtieth session of the Human Rights Council. Reminding that civil society played an important role in a whole range of areas and that it had a positive and transformative influence, it was worrying that the language in some the draft resolutions failed to address threats made to civil society representatives. It was also disappointing that it was not possible to encourage cooperation between the States and civil society. Ireland therefore urged States to recognize the vital role of civil society in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Ghana was concerned that in the Central African Republic, the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Libya, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen, it was the real people who were the victims of war, violence and terrorism, dying and suffering, resulting in unprecedented refugee and migrant crises confronting the world today. The country specific situations on the agenda of the Council reflected the tragic state of global peace and security, and Ghana stressed the duty and obligation of all Member States to honour their obligations under the United Nations Charter to promote human rights. The promise of never again under the United Nations Charter in 1945, in the 1990s in the face of the genocide in Rwanda and Srebrenica, in 2005 with the adoption of the World Summit Outcome Document reaffirming primary responsibility of States to protect their populations – all those were meant to reflect the collective resolve not to remain indifferent in the face of egregious violations of human rights. The violent wars that the world was confronting today showed that the promise of never again was yet to be fulfilled. Hence, the continued relevance of this Council not to relent in speaking out and standing up for the victims of grave human rights violations in a more timely and decisive manner.

Sierra Leone expressed its satisfaction with the Presidential Statement L.43 on capacity building in the area of public health in the face of epidemics, which called for the development of resilient health systems to accelerate the transition to universal access to health and the prevention and control of infectious diseases. Sierra Leone also appreciated the resolution on the role of parliaments, and said that their involvement in the Universal Periodic Review could lead to the adoption of relevant legislation. Migration problems remained, and even if the issue had not been given prominence in this session, Sierra Leone hoped the Council would address it in its future sessions.

Nigeria stated that the international community had to be reminded that internally displaced persons and refugees needed to be provided with basic services, such as food, water and medicines. In Africa, the situation was made worse due to Boko Haram activities. Women and girls in particular bore the brunt of their atrocities, such as rape and forced marriage. Nigeria called on the Council to provide more humanitarian assistance to the victims of Boko Haram. Nigeria supported the draft resolution L.25 because it believed that violent extremism and terrorism had to be stopped. As for concrete action against racism and racial discrimination, it was disappointing that the Council had not accepted the draft resolution with consensus, which signalled that racism was still present.

Arab Commission for Human Rights commended the Council for trying to preserve unity by adopting the majority of draft resolutions by consensus. It drew attention to the recruitment of Yemeni children in conflict, as well as to the suffering of girls. Children in Sudan and Myanmar also suffered from the conflicts. The place of children was in school, not on the battle field. It noted that it was necessary to deal with the causes of violent extremism, and it expressed hope that their appeal would be taken into account at the future meetings of the Council. It regretted that the Council had remained divided on the issue of the promotion of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development. Both countries of the Global North and Global South should facilitate the deliberations of the Working Group.

Human Rights Watch, on behalf of severals NGOs1, expressed its disappointment about the Human Rights Council’s overall failure to effectively fulfill its mandate to address situations of human rights violations, and hold States to account for these violations. In particular, it regretted the continued unwillingness of the Council and its Member States to address widespread human rights violations perpetrated by its Member States and the failure of the same States to fully cooperate with the Council or adhere to basic membership standards. It was encouraged by continuing efforts to keep the spotlight on Sri Lanka, but disappointed by the lack of transparency in negotiations on resolutions on Sudan.


Closing Remarks by the President

JOACKIM RÜCKER, President of the Human Rights Council, thanked Flavia Pansieri, the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, on behalf of the whole Human Rights Council, for all of her commitment and dedication to the cause of human rights. This had been her last session in her current capacity. Since her appointment, the Council had witnessed the professionalism and tremendous efforts she daily put in upholding the respect for human rights throughout the world, fostering dialogue and cooperation in this field, as well as mainstreaming human rights and coordinating the human rights work among various stakeholders.

Mr. Rücker thanked the Bureau for the excellent cooperation and said that the Bureau would continue to address concerns expressed throughout the session, in particular by small States, within the scope of its mandate, in order to make the Council more efficient in preparing for the tenth cycle of the Council. The President would continue with the implementation of the Presidential Statement adopted at the twenty-ninth session, in particular with improving the Voluntary Calendar and the Website & Extranet of the Human Rights Council. Consensus had been reached on many issues throughout the session; consensus mattered as it made the Council and the international human rights system more effective in fulfilling their task to promote and protect Human Rights worldwide. The President then turned to reports of intimidation and reprisals during the session and reiterated, as affirmed in Council resolution 16/21, that any act of intimidation or reprisal against individuals and groups who cooperated or had cooperated with the United Nations and its mechanisms, was unacceptable and must end. The commitment to denounce such acts and to even more actively counter them needed to be strengthened, Mr. Rücker said. He stressed the responsibility of all to take all necessary measures to prevent and ensure adequate protection against such acts.

__________

1. Joint statement: Human Rights Watch; International Service for Human Rights; Article 19; Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development; Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies; CIVICUS - World Alliance for Citizen Participation; East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project; Human Rights Law Centre; International Federation for Human Rights; and World Organisation Against Torture.

__________

For use of the information media; not an official record