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Human Rights Council decides to dispatch a fact-finding mission to Myanmar to establish facts on violations, especially in Rakhine State

Human Rights Council

MORNING

24 March 2017

Council Adopts 13 Resolutions, Extends Mandates on Iran, Myanmar, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, South Sudan, Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Torture and Migrants

The Human Rights Council this morning adopted 13 resolutions, in which it decided to dispatch an independent, international fact-finding mission to establish the facts about alleged recent human rights violations by military and security forces and abuses in Myanmar, in particular in Rakhine State.  The Council also extended the mandates of the Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in Iran, Myanmar, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and South Sudan for a further period of one year, and extended the mandates of the Special Rapporteurs on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and on the human rights of migrants for a period of three years. 
 
Other resolutions concerned human rights and unilateral coercive measures, the right to work, birth registration, the rights of the child, regional arrangements for the promotion of human rights, and human rights and the environment.
 
The Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran for a further period of one year in a resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran, adopted by a vote of 22 in favour, 12 against and 13 abstentions.  It requested the Special Rapporteur to submit a report on the implementation of the mandate to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-second session.  It called upon the Government of Iran to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur and to permit access to visit the country, and to provide all information necessary to allow the fulfilment of the mandate.
 
In a resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, adopted without a vote, the Council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for a further period of one year.  It also decided to dispatch urgently an independent international fact-finding mission to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council to establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged recent human rights violations by military and security forces, and abuses, in Myanmar, in particular in Rakhine State.  It called upon the Government of Myanmar to continue efforts to eliminate statelessness and the systematic and institutionalized discrimination against members of ethnic, and religious minorities, including the root causes of discrimination, in particular relating to the Rohingya minority. 
 
The Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur of the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for a period of one year in a resolution on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, adopted without a vote.  The Council decided to strengthen, for a period of two years, the capacity of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, including its field-based structure in Seoul, to allow the implementation of relevant recommendations made by the group of independent experts on accountability in its report.  It condemned in the strongest terms the long-standing and ongoing systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations and other human rights abuses committed in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. 
 
In a resolution on the situation of human rights in South Sudan, adopted without a vote, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan for a period of one year.  It condemned the ongoing violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law in South Sudan, and it demanded that all actors put a halt to all violations and abuses of human rights and all violations of international humanitarian law.  It also urged the Government of South Sudan to appoint a special representative on sexual and gender-based violence. 
 
In a resolution on human rights of migrants: mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council decided to extend for a period of three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants to examine ways and means to overcome the obstacles existing to the full and effective protection of the human rights of migrants, recognizing the particular vulnerability of women, children and those undocumented or in an irregular situation.  The Council also extended mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression for a period of three years, in a resolution adopted without a vote.  It requested the Special Rapporteur to submit an annual report to the Human Rights Council and to the General Assembly covering all activities relating to the mandate. 
 
In a resolution on  torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment: mandate of the Special Rapporteur, adopted without a vote, the Council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment for a further period of three years to receive, examine and act on information from Governments, intergovernmental and civil society organizations, individuals and groups of individuals regarding issues and alleged cases concerning torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and to conduct country visits.
 
The Council also adopted a resolution on human rights and unilateral coercive measures, adopted by a vote of 32 in favour, 15 against and zero abstentions, in which it called upon all States to stop adopting, maintaining or implementing unilateral coercive measures not in accordance with international law, international humanitarian law, the Charter of the United Nations and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations among States. 
 
The Council called upon States to put in place comprehensive policies and to take the legislative and administrative measures necessary for the full realization of the right to work for all, including women, in a resolution on the right to work, adopted without a vote.  In a resolution on birth registration and the right of everyone to recognition everywhere as a person before the law, adopted without a vote, the Council called upon States to establish or strengthen existing institutions at all levels responsible for birth registration and consider the development of comprehensive civil registration systems.
 
In a resolution on the rights of the child: protection of the rights of the child in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council called upon States to promote, protect, respect and fulfil the rights of the child and to mainstream them into all legislation, policies, programmes and budgets, as appropriate, aimed at implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
 
In a resolution on regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council requested the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner to provide the resources necessary to enable the Office of the High Commissioner to support regional and subregional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights.  In a resolution on human rights and the environment, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council called upon States to respect, protect and fulfil human rights, including in all actions undertaken to address environmental challenges.  It called upon States to adopt and implement strong laws ensuring the right to participation, to access to information and to justice, including to an effective remedy, in the field of the environment, and to facilitate public awareness and participation in environmental decision-making.
 
Speaking in the introduction of draft texts were Venezuela on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, Egypt, Greece, Mexico, Uruguay, Malta on behalf of the European Union, Belgium, United States, Denmark, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Sweden, and Japan.  
 
Myanmar, Iran and South Sudan spoke as a concerned country.  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea did not take the floor as a concerned country.
 
Cuba, Indonesia, Belgium, South Africa, Egypt, Germany on behalf of the European Union, Venezuela, Brazil, Philippines, Ecuador, and Bolivia spoke in general comments.
 
Germany on behalf the European Union, United States, Bangladesh, Cuba, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Iraq, and Egypt took the floor to speak in an explanation of the vote before or after the vote.
 
The Council will next meet at 12:15 p.m. to continue taking action on resolutions and decisions before closing its thirty-fourth session.

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 L.14 on Human Rights and Unilateral Coercive Measures
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.14) on human rights and unilateral coercive measures, adopted by a vote of 32 in favour, 14 against and zero abstentions, the Council calls upon all States to stop adopting, maintaining or implementing unilateral coercive measures not in accordance with international law, international humanitarian law, the Charter of the United Nations and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations among States; and rejects all attempts to introduce unilateral coercive measures, as well as the increasing trend in this direction, including through the enactment of laws with extraterritorial application. The Council requests the High Commissioner, in discharging his functions in relation to the promotion and protection of human rights, to pay due attention and to give urgent consideration to the present resolution; and also requests the High Commissioner to organize for the thirty-sixth session of the Council the biennial panel discussion on the issue of unilateral coercive measures and human rights, and prepare a report on the panel discussion for submission and presentation to the Council at its thirty-seventh session.

The result of the vote was as follows:
In favour (32): Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
 
Against (14): Albania, Belgium, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America.
 
Abstention (0): 
 
Venezuela, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, introducing draft resolution L.14 on human rights and unilateral coercive measures, stressed the importance of non-intervention and the protection of the social and economic development of peoples.  The Non-Aligned Movement underlined the need for an independent human rights mechanism so that victims of unilateral coercive measures would have access to appeal and recourse.  At the thirty-sixth session, a biannual panel would focus on recourse and reparation in that context.  The negative impact of unilateral coercive measures needed to be highlighted, as it affected the most vulnerable classes in developing countries.
 
Cuba, in a general comment, said that the presentation of the draft resolution was a sign of general interest in the subject matter.  Obstacles to the right to development needed to be studied by the Council.  Some countries were imposing double standards on the work of the Council.  Cuba fully supported draft resolution L.14, which was a sign of attachment to the work of the Council and the principles of the United Nations Charter.
 
Germany, speaking on behalf of the European Union in an explanation of the vote before the vote, regretted that none of the European Union’s comments in informal consultations were taken onboard.  Sufficient work on unilateral coercive measures was already being done in the United Nations system.  Measures imposed always had to be proportionate.  Targeted measures needed to take into account the needs of targeted populations.  The Council was not the appropriate forum to address that issue, and the European Union members of the Council would vote against.
 
The Council adopted draft resolution L14 with 32 votes in favour, 15 against and no abstentions.
 
Action on Resolution L.22 on the Right to Work
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.22) on the right to work, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States to put in place comprehensive policies and to take the legislative and administrative measures necessary for the full realization of the right to work for all, including women; and calls upon States to implement effective and targeted measures to ensure women’s equal access to decent work and full and productive employment, including through investments in care infrastructure, policies and employment services that address specific challenges faced by women and policies that aim at removing conditions disadvantageous to women during the recruitment process.  The Council further calls upon States to continue their efforts to prevent and combat all forms of discrimination and violence, including sexual harassment at the workplace, including by adopting and implementing laws and policies and through training, awareness-raising and support for women’s access to justice with respect to violence and sexual harassment; and requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare an analytical report on the relationship between the realization of the right to work and the implementation of relevant targets in the Sustainable Development Goals, in accordance with States’ respective obligations under international human rights law, and to submit the report to the Human Rights Council prior to its thirty-seventh session.
 
Egypt, introducing draft resolution L.22, underlined the importance of the right to work, and noted that everyone had to choose their work and to be protected against unemployment, in line with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  The draft resolution came at a time of very high unemployment rates.  Young people were particularly affected by unemployment.  Developing countries were also especially affected by high unemployment rates as they were not able to create the necessary economic conditions.  Each State had to comply with international human rights and tackle issues related to the right to work, as well as to strengthen access of women to employment, including the provision of business loans.  The draft resolution also referred to the role of vocational training and minimum standards of social protection.  It emphasized the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals and their role in growth of employment in order to guarantee equal employment opportunities for men and women.  The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was asked to identify challenges in the accomplishment of that goal.  It was hoped that there would be greater cooperation between the Council and the International Labour Organization.
 
Greece, also introducing the resolution, said Greece was a member of the core group on the resolution and was proud to have contributed to the final result which was L.22, given that the resolution focused on the right of women to work.  Thanking all regional and additional co-sponsors, all others were invited to co-sponsor the resolution as well.
 
The Secretariat informed that the amendment to the resolution had been withdrawn.
 
Indonesia, in a general comment, said as a core group member, Indonesia reiterated its support to the resolution.  The current text focused on men’s and women’s right to work and called for the implementation of relevant goals and targets.  Indonesia thanked the co-sponsors and all who had provided input to the draft resolution and expressed hope that consensus could continue to be maintained.
 
United States, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, expressed concern that the resolution impinged on the role and responsibility of the International Labour Organization.  Although the United States was joining consensus on the resolution, it did so on the understanding that the resolution did not imply that States had to join human rights instruments to which they were not a party, or otherwise implement obligations under those instruments.  Furthermore, in joining consensus, the United States did not recognize any change in the current state of treaty or customary international law.  The United States’ long-standing and well-known concerns regarding the right to development were reiterated. 
 
The Council then adopted the resolution without a vote.
 
Action on Resolution L.24 on Birth Registration and the Right of Everyone to Recognition Everywhere as a Person before the Law
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.24) on birth registration and the right of everyone to recognition everywhere as a person before the law, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States to establish or strengthen existing institutions at all levels responsible for birth registration and consider the development of comprehensive civil registration systems, and the preservation and security of such records, to ensure adequate training for registration officers, to allocate sufficient and adequate human, technical and financial resources to fulfil their mandate, and to increase, as needed, the accessibility of birth registration facilities within its territory; urges States to identify and remove physical, administrative, procedural and any other barriers that impede access to birth registration, including late registration; and invites States and other relevant stakeholders to work towards ensuring universal birth registration through, inter alia, the exchange of good practices and technical assistance, including through the universal periodic review and other relevant mechanisms of the Human Rights Council.  The Council requests the High Commissioner to identify and actively pursue opportunities to collaborate with the United Nations Statistics Division and other relevant United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, as well as other relevant stakeholders, in order to strengthen existing policies and programmes aimed at universal birth registration and vital statistics development; to prepare a report on best practices and specific measures to ensure access to birth registration, and to submit the report to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-ninth session.
 
Mexico, speaking also on behalf of Turkey in introducing draft resolution L.24 on birth registration and the right of everyone to be recognized everywhere before the law, said that the text presented was the result of a wide consultative process.  The right to recognition before the law was closely related to all other human rights and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.  This right was particularly important for vulnerable groups, such as migrants and asylum seekers.  The Office of the High Commissioner would be requested to prepare a report on best practices in that regard, with a special focus on children migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and stateless children.  Mexico encouraged the Council to adopt the resolution without a vote, as had been done with all related previous resolutions.
 
Belgium, in a general comment, believed that the initiative on birth registration was an important one because it reaffirmed the Council’s commitment to work together on the realization of birth registration.  States were requested to register all birth registrations.  It was shocking that one child out of four under the age of five had never been registered.  Without documents proving their age, children were more vulnerable to discrimination and violation of their rights; children in armed conflict were particularly vulnerable.  Their demobilization was made much more difficult.  Birth registration was thus a vital element for accountability.  Belgium would be happy to join the consensus.
 
The Council adopted draft resolution L.24 without a vote.   
 
Action on Resolution L.25 on the Rights of the Child: Protection of the Rights of the Child in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.25) on the rights of the child: protection of the rights of the child in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States to promote, protect, respect and fulfil the rights of the child and to mainstream them into all legislation, policies, programmes and budgets, as appropriate, aimed at implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals;  calls on States to work on the development of child rights-sensitive national, including sub-national and regional indicators, where applicable, taking into account indicators developed by appropriate global and regional fora, to measure progress, report and identify gaps in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and calls upon States to provide human rights education, and to promote children's empowerment and participation, as means to prevent and counteract violence, exploitation, and abuse of children.  The Council also requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to contribute to the work of the High Level Political Forum on the follow-up of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in consultation with relevant stakeholders; and decides to continue its consideration of the question of the rights of the child, and to focus its next annual full-day meeting on the theme “Protecting the rights of the child in humanitarian situations”, and requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on that theme.
 
Uruguay, introducing draft resolution L.25 on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group and the European Union, said that the draft invited States to ensure that in the process of implementing Agenda 2030 they maintained a child-focused approach.  The request of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights was welcomed to contribute to the work of the High-Level Political Forum with the thematic reviews on progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.  The Special Rapporteur was in a position to undertake an important support task for States in implementing Sustainable Development Goals related to that mandate.  The negotiations had been open and transparent, and following that task, the text presented to the Council was balanced and took into account concerns of different delegations.
 
European Union, also introducing the draft resolution, said the text being presented would contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in a child rights compliant way.  The European Union was fully committed to the achievement of all the goals and targets set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  The European Union welcomed the proposal to dedicate the annual day of discussion on the rights of the child in 2018 to “Children in humanitarian situations” and the European Union would follow up with the introduction of a resolution focusing on the same theme.
 
The Secretariat informed that the amendments to the text had been withdrawn. 
 
South Africa, in a general comment, said that it was disappointed that the sponsors of L.25 could not accept its language focusing on the activities of private military and security companies, transnational corporations and other business enterprises.  In the modern digital age, where all kinds of repugnant ills were being brought into homes and immediate view, it was inconceivable that the sponsor could adopt a negative approach.  Children everywhere deserved equal treatment.  The Council could not pick and choose which rights of the child to protect.
 
Egypt, in a general comment, thanked the sponsors for accepting some of its suggestions, but believed that the draft resolution could be further improved and developed.  Egypt would nonetheless continue to sponsor it.
 
United States, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, stated that any reaffirmation of prior documents in this resolution and any others adopted by the Council applied only to those States that affirmed them initially.  The United States quoted that “the best interest of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for his or her nature and protection” as recommendatory.  The United States noted that human trafficking could include, but did not require, movement. 
 
The Council adopted draft resolution L.25 as orally revised without a vote. 
 
Action on Resolution L.26/Rev.1 on Regional Arrangements for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.26/Rev.1) on regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner to provide the resources necessary to enable the Office of the High Commissioner to support regional and subregional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights; requests the Office of the High Commissioner to expand its cooperation with regional human rights mechanisms by creating, as of 2018, a dedicated programme for the said mechanisms to gain experience in the United Nations human rights system in order to enhance capacity-building and cooperation among them; and also requests the High Commissioner to hold, in 2019, a workshop on regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights to take stock of developments since the workshop held in 2016, including a thematic discussion on the role of regional arrangements in the combat against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and in the implementation of the commitments in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
 
Belgium, introducing the draft resolution, said Belgium with its partners Armenia, Mexico, Senegal and Thailand, presented a resolution to strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and relevant regional human rights organizations.  Because of their respective geographical scopes, regional human rights mechanisms were in a better position to address the needs in various regions.  Regional mechanisms contributed to the universality and indivisibility of human rights.  As usual, the draft resolution proposed that under the Office of the High Commissioner, a new seminar be organized to which all regional mechanisms were invited.  Combatting racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia would be one area of focus.  The draft resolution also sought to promote cooperation between the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and regional mechanisms through focal points and also through programmes allowing members of regional arrangements to participate in Geneva and build personal relationships and bridges.  It was hoped that the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus.
 
The Council then adopted the resolution without a vote.

Action on Resolution L.27 on Freedom of Opinion and Expression: Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.27) on  freedom of opinion and expression: mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a further period of three years; urges all States to cooperate fully with and assist the Special Rapporteur in the performance of his/her tasks, to provide all necessary information requested by him/her and to consider favourably his/her requests for visits and for implementing his/her recommendations; and requests the Special Rapporteur to submit an annual report to the Human Rights Council and to the General Assembly covering all activities relating to his/her mandate, with a view to maximizing the benefits of the reporting process.
 
United States, introducing draft resolution L.27 on freedom of opinion and expression, said that the resolution would extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for three years.  This right was as vital today as it had been in 1948, and was crucial for a healthy and well-functioning democratic society.  The right to freedom of opinion and expression was inextricably linked to the enjoyment of other universal human rights and fundamental freedoms.  The Council was urged to adopt the draft resolution by consensus.
 
Germany, speaking on behalf of the European Union in a general comment, said that freedom of opinion and expression represented one of the European Union priorities in the framework of human rights and was a fundamental right of every human being.  The European Union fully supported the mandate of the Special Rapporteur and considered it to be one of the most important.  The Special Rapporteur was commended for his excellent work so far.  The resolution should be adopted without a vote. 
 
The Council adopted draft resolution L.27 without a vote.  
 
Action on Resolution L.32 on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: Mandate of the Special Rapporteur
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.32) on  torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment: mandate of the Special Rapporteur, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment for a further period of three years to, inter alia, seek, receive, examine and act on information from Governments, intergovernmental and civil society organizations, individuals and groups of individuals regarding issues and alleged cases concerning torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and to conduct country visits with the consent or at the invitation of Governments and to enhance further dialogue with them, and to follow up on recommendations made in reports after visits to their countries.  The Council also urges States to cooperate fully with and assist the Special Rapporteur in the performance of his or her task, to supply all necessary information requested by him or her and to fully and expeditiously respond to his or her urgent appeals, and urges those Governments that have not yet responded to communications transmitted to them by the Special Rapporteur to answer without further delay; and to become parties to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and to give early consideration to signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol thereto as a matter of priority.
 
Denmark, introducing the draft resolution, said an oral revision of the text had been distributed in the room, which added a preambular paragraph and revised preambular paragraph 3 and operative paragraph 3.  The resolution extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment for a new period of three years.  By adopting the resolution, the Council once again provided the mandate for the Special Rapporteur to seek, receive, examine and act on information from all relevant sources on issues and alleged cases of torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
 
Germany, speaking on behalf of the European Union in a general comment, said a key role in the fight against torture was the mandate of the Special Rapporteur.  With the resolution, the mandate was continued.  The resolution was the result of the engagement of all main sponsors, and the European Union fully supported the resolution as orally revised.
 
The Council then adopted the draft resolution, as orally revised, without a vote.
 
Action on Resolution L.33 on Human Rights and the Environment
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.33) on human rights and the environment, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council calls upon States to respect, protect and fulfil human rights, including in all actions undertaken to address environmental challenges, including the rights to life and to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, to an adequate standard of living, to adequate food, to safe drinking water and sanitation, and to housing and cultural rights; also calls upon States to adopt and implement strong laws ensuring, among other things, the rights to participation, to access to information and to justice, including to an effective remedy, in the field of the environment, and to facilitate public awareness and participation in environmental decision-making.  The Council further  requests the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner, to convene, prior to the thirty-seventh session of the Human Rights Council, a one-day expert seminar on best practices, lessons learned and the way forward with regard to human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, informed by the findings of the mandate holder; and to submit to the Human Rights Council, at its thirty-seventh session, a report on the above-mentioned seminar.
 
Costa Rica, introducing draft resolution L.33 as orally revised on behalf of the core group, said that the draft focused on the linkages between human rights and the environment, in particular with respect to biodiversity and ecosystem services.  It was undeniable that the well-being of every person on the planet went hand in hand with the rights to adequate food, safe drinking water and sanitation, and to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.  The importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women had to be acknowledged in that context.  Effective remedies had to be provided for human rights violations and abuses, including those relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
 
Switzerland, also introducing draft resolution L.33 as orally revised, explained that the one-day seminar mandated by the resolution provided an opportunity to take stock of the progress that had been achieved by the Special Rapporteur John Knox during his six years as a mandate holder.  Switzerland was confident that this year too draft resolution L.33 as orally revised would be adopted by consensus. 
 
United States, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said the resolution’s reference to States was noted.  The United States did not recognize any change in international customary law.  States were responsible for implementing their human rights obligations.  The United States noted its longstanding reservations to the right to development.  The high cost of the resolution was noted, and the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights was asked to minimise costs.
 
Bangladesh, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said the issue of human rights and the environment was very important, and as a populous country faced with environmental challenges, Bangladesh was pleased to have contributed to the process of producing the resolution.  Some of Bangladesh’s suggestions had not been taken on board and the process did not therefore appear inclusive.  From the start, Bangladesh was placed at a disadvantage but kept negotiating.  The core group could have done better in producing a transparent and open negotiating environment. In spite of that, Bangladesh would join the consensus in recognition of the importance of the issue.
 
The Council then adopted draft resolution L. 33 as orally revised without a vote. 
 
Action on Resolution L.36 on Human Rights of Migrants: Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.36) on human rights of migrants: mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council decides to extend for a period of three years, effective from the end of its thirty-fifth session, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, with the following functions, inter alia: to examine ways and means to overcome the obstacles existing to the full and effective protection of the human rights of migrants, recognizing the particular vulnerability of women, children and those undocumented or in an irregular situation; to request and receive information from all relevant sources, including migrants themselves, on violations of the human rights of migrants and their families; and to formulate appropriate recommendations to prevent and remedy violations of the human rights of migrants, wherever they may occur.  The Council requests the Special Rapporteur, in carrying out his or her mandate, to take into consideration relevant human rights instruments of the United Nations to promote and protect the human rights of migrants, and to take into account bilateral, regional and international initiatives that address issues relating to the effective protection of human rights of migrants.
 
Mexico, introducing the draft resolution L.36 as orally revised, said that the oral revisions sought to align the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on human rights of migrants with the standards relative to the functioning of Special Procedures.  Mexico noted the increase in large movements of people throughout the world in recent years, and said that this trend would continue and even increase, as a result of armed conflict, poverty, inequality and climate change.  Thousands of people had lost their lives in the search for better lives, millions lived in very precarious conditions, without the necessary protection, and migrants were increasingly the victims of certain policies to promote intolerance, discrimination and xenophobia under the pretext of security.  Renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur in this context was essential to the promotion and protection of human rights of migrants everywhere.
 
Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on Situations of Human Rights Requiring the Council’s Attention
 
Action on Resolution L.8/Rev.1 on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.8/Rev.1) on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon the Government of Myanmar to continue efforts to eliminate statelessness and the systematic and institutionalized discrimination against members of ethnic, and religious minorities, including the root causes of discrimination, in particular relating to the Rohingya minority, inter alia by reviewing the 1982 Citizenship Law; and also calls upon the Government of Myanmar to take further measures for a voluntary and sustainable return of all refugees and internally displaced persons and others who had to leave Myanmar, including from the Rohingya minority, to Rakhine State in safety, security and dignity, and in accordance with international law.  The Council decides to dispatch urgently an independent international Fact Finding Mission to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council to establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged recent human rights violations by military and security forces, and abuses, in Myanmar, in particular in Rakhine State, and requests the Fact Finding Mission to present an oral update at the thirty-sixth session of the Human Rights Council, and a full report at the thirty-seventh session of the Human Rights Council.  The Council also decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of human rights in Myanmar for a further period of one year, requests the Special Rapporteur to present an oral progress report at the thirty-fifth session of the Human Rights Council.
 
Malta, speaking on behalf of the European Union, introducing the draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, said the draft provided for an extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for one year, inter alia for further work on the “implementation of the proposed joint benchmarks and for progress in priority areas of technical assistance and capacity-building”.  In light of recent reports of human rights violations, the draft resolution also asked the President of the Human Rights Council to appoint an independent international fact-finding mission “to establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged recent human rights violations by military and security forces, and abuses in Myanmar, in particular in Rakhine State.”  The adoption of the resolution by consensus would send a strong signal of support from the Council to the transition underway in “Myanmar/Burma”.
 
Venezuela, in a general comment, said Myanmar had demonstrated its cooperation with the Human Rights Council and reported on measures taken in the country.  The draft resolution was a sign of politicization of mandates.  The co-sponsors of the initiative insisted on measures that did not enjoy consensus.  Constructive dialogue and technical assistance with the concerned country were the way forward.  Venezuela reiterated its position on the resolution which was politically motivated, and that was why Venezuela would disassociate itself from the consensus. 
 
Egypt welcomed in a general comment the efforts of the Government to promote and protect human rights and to address the underlying causes of the violations in Rakhine state.  Egypt remained very concerned about the recent violence that had resulted in the loss of innocent lives and the displacement of tens of thousands of Rohingya.  Egypt called upon the country to remove all forms of violence and discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, and increase its effort to facilitate the return of all refugees and internally displaced persons.  Egypt welcomed the establishment of the fact-finding mission proposed by the draft resolution and urged the Government to fully cooperate and share the results of domestic investigations.
 
Brazil, in a general comment, supported the resolution on the human rights situation in Myanmar.  Brazil was aware of the allegations of human rights violations in Rakhine state and shared concern about the violation of the human rights of Rohingya and other minorities.  Brazil acknowledged the seriousness of facts described in the flash report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  Brazil recognized the formidable human rights challenges that the current Government had inherited and warned the international community against taking any premature actions that might undermine national efforts.
 
Philippines, in a general comment, supported Myanmar’s democratization efforts.  There were complex issues in Rakhine state, and Philippines supported the provision of assistance to Myanmar.  It was with that in mind that Philippines would not break consensus on the resolution as a whole, yet did not support the establishment of an international fact-finding mission.  The balanced efforts of the European Union were appreciated, steering away from a Commission of Inquiry.  Philippines would dissociate from operative paragraphs 10, 11 and 12.
 
Ecuador, in a general comment, aligned itself with the consensus but urged support to be provided to the Government of Myanmar.  Ecuador said it should be ensured that the support provided visible results.
 
Myanmar, speaking as the concerned country, said that there were positive elements in some paragraphs of the draft resolution, but the key one was hard to accept.  Myanmar was committed to finding a sustainable solution to the situation in Rakhine state and was implementing the recommendations it had received, which it believed would be successful in the long run.  The situation in Rakhine state was stabilizing and people were returning.  Based on the findings and recommendations by the national investigation commission and the advisory commission, Myanmar would be putting in place a long-term peace building plan for Rakhine state; any action taken by the international community should not add to the already complex situation.  Against this backdrop, Myanmar disassociated itself from the draft resolution as a whole, and particularly from its operative paragraph calling for the dispatch of a fact-finding mission.  Myanmar urged the international community to let Myanmar choose the best and most authentic course of action to address its challenges, and reiterated that the country would be doing what needed to be done.
 
Cuba, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that it had always objected to selective initiatives targeting developing countries and therefore did not support the draft.  The establishment of the Universal Periodic Review paved the way to promoting cooperation on human rights and thus Cuba confirmed that respectful dialogue had to be the way forward regarding human rights.
 
China, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it had a persistent position on country situations which was that all countries should engage in dialogue.  The international community should look at the progress Myanmar had made in the field of human rights and respect Myanmar’s sovereignty.  Ethnic strife was an internal affairs and had complex roots, and could not be solved overnight.  The international community should work to create a favourable environment for the parties to resolve their differences through dialogue.  The international community should avoid further complicating the matter.  China would disassociate itself from consensus on the draft resolution.
 
India, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, welcomed the positive developments in Myanmar and was convinced that the international community should continue to constructively engage with the Government and the people, particularly following the successful elections.  All necessary assistance, as requested by the country itself, needed to be provided.  Myanmar had demonstrated firm political will for reform and the international community should support this process. The draft resolution was not entirely helpful and India regretted the way in which the draft resolution had been negotiated.  Thus, India disassociated itself from the draft resolution.
 
Indonesia, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it would join the consensus.  Indonesia shared the legitimate concern about the human rights situation in Rakhine state, but was of the opinion that the international community should understand the dimension of human rights challenges that the Government had inherited.  In this regard, the international community should ensure that Myanmar had the opportunity and space to address those challenges and conclude the ongoing national processes, including through the national investigation commission and the advisory commission on Rakhine state led by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
 
Japan, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, found it regrettable that Myanmar had dissociated itself from consensus.  The new Myanmar Government placed importance on achieving national reconciliation, and its cooperation with the international community toward improving the human rights in the country was welcomed.  Japan was concerned at attacks that started in October last year and clashes with armed groups.  Serious human rights violations and displacement were also worrying.  Regarding the decision to dispatch an international fact-finding mission, first, the Myanmar Government’s investigation had to be evaluated.  Japan was thus not supportive of the content of the concerned paragraphs.  Japan acknowledged the Myanmar Government’s commitment to promptly implement the large number of recommendations made in the interim report. 
 
Bolivia, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, condemned all forms of violations of human rights and said principles of non-discrimination and non-selectivity should guide the Council.  Constructive dialogue had to guide the Council, based on respect for sovereignty of peoples. 
 
The Council then adopted resolution L.8/Rev.1 without a vote.
 
Action on the Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.17) on  the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, adopted by a vote of 22 in favour, 12 against and 13 abstentions, the Council  decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran for a further period of one year, and requests the Special Rapporteur to submit a report on the implementation of the mandate to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-second session; and calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur and to permit access to visit the country, and to provide all information necessary to allow the fulfilment of the mandate.
 
 
The result of the vote was as follows:
 
In favour (22): Albania, Belgium, Botswana, Croatia, El Salvador, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America.
 
Against (12): Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, and Venezuela.
 
Abstentions (13): Brazil, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Mongolia, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Togo, and Tunisia.
 
 
Sweden introduced draft resolution L.17 on the human rights situation in Iran which aimed to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a further period of one year.  No changes to the mandate had been made.  Sweden welcomed the work carried out by the mandate holder, with integrity and professionalism.  Iran should facilitate the request by the Special Rapporteur to visit the country, which would be an opportunity to engage with the Human Rights Council on concerns that persisted with regards to the human rights situation in the country.
 
Germany, speaking on behalf of the European Union in a general comment, said that the European Union was concerned about the human rights situation in Iran, and it continued its engagement with the Government of Iran on the human rights situation that had started in November 2016.  The European Union supported the mandate of the Special Rapporteur and said that her reports provided detailed information on the human rights situation as well as on legislative and other initiatives in the country.  The European Union noted the increased engagement of Iran with the international community and urged Iran to allow the visit to the country by the Special Rapporteur.
 
Iran, speaking as the concerned country, said human rights were not the exclusive value of any one culture or society.  Bias needed to be abandoned and replaced with a heightened awareness of the dangers caused by extremism.  An unfair draft resolution on Iran was abuse of the Human Rights Council which contributed to polarization in the Council.  The credibility of the Council was damaged, and it was unfortunate that the draft resolution was tabled at a time of historic success for diplomacy.  Iran had extended constructive cooperation with international human rights mechanisms, and efforts had been made towards cooperation with monitoring treaty bodies.  Members of the Human Rights Council were requested to say no to the draft resolution.
 
Venezuela, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said the basis behind resolution L.17 did not lead to genuine dialogue and cooperation and initiatives such as this one undermined the credibility of the Council.  Those were instruments to promote geopolitical interests and strategic confrontation.  There was evidence of manipulation carried out by some powers promoting hostility against sovereign States.  Venezuela would continue to reject the selective practice of introducing draft resolutions against countries when they did not enjoy the support of the country concerned.  Venezuela requested a vote on the text and would be voting against.
 
Cuba, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the existence of the mandate on Iran was a clear example of practices of politicization and double standards and Cuba reiterated its stand against country-specific mandates against countries of the south.  Human rights were not the real reason behind the treatment of Iran in this Council.  It was only through dialogue and a cooperation-based approach that the Council could be successful in the promotion and protection of human rights and it was essential that the process went hand in hand with the country concerned.  Mandates imposed without consensus were destined to fail.  Using human rights mechanisms to justify imposing unilateral coercive measures against countries of the south, as was the case in Iran, was unacceptable.  Cuba could not support the resolution and would vote against.
 
Japan, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, took note of the commitment of Iran to improve the human rights situation and said that further improvements were needed on a number of issues, such as freedom of expression.  Therefore, Japan would vote in favour of the resolution and urged Iran to work with the international community for the good of its people.
 
Brazil, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it would abstain in the vote on this draft resolution.  Despite legitimate concerns regarding the human rights situation in Iran, Brazil recognized the efforts of the Government to implement gradual reforms, and was aware of the difficulties in the implementation of the Citizenship Charter, which it hoped Iran would soon overcome.  Recognizing the challenges such as the use of the death penalty and the high number of executions, including of juveniles, Brazil urged Iran to continue to maintain the dialogue with the Special Rapporteur which would translate into positive developments in the human rights situation in the country.  Brazil reaffirmed the legitimate aspirations of the Baha’is, the most persecuted ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, to peacefully exercise their rights. 
 
United Kingdom, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, thanked the sponsors for the draft resolution.  The United Kingdom remained concerned about the situation of human rights in Iran, and the work of the Special Rapporteur was important for those fighting for improvements in the situation within the country.  The United Kingdom supported the Special Rapporteur’s recommendation for a moratorium on the death penalty.  Iran should allow the Special Rapporteur access to the country.  Iran should demonstrate to the international community that it took its commitments seriously.  The nuclear deal was a major achievement, but despite that renewed momentum in relations with the international community, Iran had to be held to account.  The resolution on Iran continued to be warranted.  The United Kingdom would vote yes on the draft resolution.
 
Iraq, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the main reason of the Council issuing such resolutions was to tackle violations of human rights; it did not select some countries due to political motivations, because that contradicted the Council’s mandate.  The draft resolution did not reflect positive developments in Iran, and it was noteworthy to mention that not including such developments discouraged the Government.  Giving the Council the mandate was to improve countries’ performance and that was not seen in the draft resolution and for that reason Iraq would vote against the draft.
 
The Council then adopted the resolution by a recorded vote of 22 in favour with 12 against and 13 abstentions.
 
Action on L.23 on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
 
In a resolution(A/HRC/34/L.23) on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, adopted without a vote, the Council condemns in the strongest terms the long-standing and ongoing systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations and other human rights abuses committed in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; urges the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to acknowledge its crimes and human rights violations in and outside of the country, and to take immediate steps to end all such crimes and violations through, inter alia, the implementation of relevant recommendations in the report of the commission of inquiry; and decides to strengthen, for a period of two years, the capacity of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, including its field-based structure in Seoul, to allow the implementation of relevant recommendations made by the group of independent experts on accountability in its report.  The Council also requests the High Commissioner to provide an oral update on the progress made in this regard to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh session with a view to submitting a full report on the implementation of the said recommendations to the Council at its fortieth session; decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur of the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 31/18, for a period of one year; and urges the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, through continuous dialogues, to invite and to cooperate fully with all special procedure mandate holders, especially the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
 
Malta, introducing the draft resolution on behalf of the European Union, reiterated deep concern about the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the findings of the Commission of Inquiry of ongoing, systematic and widespread gross human rights violations, some of which might amount to crimes against humanity.  It was the common responsibility of the international community to ensure that this precarious human rights situation continued to receive the attention it deserved.  The draft resolution aimed to address the most pertinent issues related to the dire situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, including to strengthen the monitoring and documentation capacity of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and its field-based structure in Seoul by establishing a central repository of information and evidence, and having legal accountability experts assess all information and testimonies with a view to developing possible strategies to be used in any accountability processes.  The draft resolution also extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a period of one year.
 
Japan, also introducing the draft resolution, shared international concerns about the long-standing and ongoing systematic human rights violations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.  The present resolution included the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur and the strengthening of the capacity of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, including in the Seoul office.  Japan urged the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to engage in constructive dialogue with the international community and to take concrete steps to address the international concerns as well as to resolve the long-standing issue of the abduction of foreign nationals.
 
Venezuela, in a general comment, said that cooperation had to guide the work of the Council.  Treatment of the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had to involve the country to improve the situation on the ground.  Venezuela reiterated its opposition to the draft resolution which was founded on bias.  Venezuela dissociated itself from consensus on the draft resolution. 
 
The Secretariat noted that the country concerned was not present in the room.
 
Bolivia, in a general comment, expressed concern at any and all violations of human rights and did not support resolutions that did not involve the country concerned.  Bolivia did not welcome the resolution.
 
Cuba, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said the draft resolution to renew the selective and politically motivated mandate against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was discriminatory.  Cuba objected to the imposition of mandates which were selective and which were against countries of the south.  Politicization, selectivity and double standards should not be used.  Cuba rejected the fact that the resolution could be used to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court, and the inclusion of concepts such as the responsibility to protect.  Cuba called on the international community to return to non-politicization and respect for State sovereignty.  The promotion of resolutions such as the present one did not conform to the ideals of the Human Rights Council.  Cuba dissociated itself from the consensus on the resolution. 
 
China, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, reiterated that China was against the politicization of human rights issues.  The situation in the Korean peninsula was sensitive and China hoped that both sides would meet each other half way and avoid the escalation of the tensions.  China would disassociate itself from the consensus on this draft resolution.
 
Egypt, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it would vote against the draft resolution, thus reinforcing its principle of being against country-mandates without the consent of the country concerned.
 
Bolivia, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that it would disassociate itself from the consensus on this draft resolution.
 
Action on Resolution L.34 on the Situation of Human Rights in South Sudan
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.34) on the situation of human rights in South Sudan, adopted without a vote, the Council condemns the ongoing violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law in South Sudan; demands that all actors put a halt to all violations and abuses of human rights and all violations of international humanitarian law, and strongly calls upon the Government of South Sudan to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms.  The Council calls upon the Government of South Sudan to investigate all violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law and to hold those responsible to account.  The Council decides to extend the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, composed of three members, for a period of one year, renewable as authorized by the Human Rights Council; reiterates its request to the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan to suggest priority recommendations for the Government of South Sudan on considering how to end sexual and gender-based violence, urges relevant United Nations actors to assist in such implementation as appropriate, and urges the Government to appoint a special representative on sexual and gender-based violence; reiterates its request that representatives of the Office of the High Commissioner, the African Union, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other stakeholders, as appropriate, be invited to discuss the situation of human rights in South Sudan and the steps taken by the Government of South Sudan to ensure accountability for human rights violations and abuses in an enhanced interactive dialogue at the thirty-sixth session of the Human Rights Council; and requests the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan to participate in the enhanced interactive dialogue, and to present a comprehensive written report, in an interactive dialogue, to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh session.
 
United States, introducing draft resolution L.34, said the human rights situation in South Sudan was deeply alarming to all.  Numerous reports and statements, including from the High Commissioner for Human Rights, had detailed ongoing gross human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law.  The recent declaration of famine in parts of the former Unity State were also gravely concerning.  Mass displacements continued within and outside South Sudan.  The international community had to come together and address those atrocities and put an end to the humanitarian crisis.  The Human Rights Council had to condemn violence by all sides, encourage domestic and regional efforts to foster a national reconciliation process, and ensure accountability.  The resolution enhanced the Commission’s mandate to determine and report the facts and circumstances of gross violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes.  The Government of South Sudan was called on to continue to cooperate fully and constructively with the Commission for Human Rights in South Sudan and to provide unhindered access to its members, as well as to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
 
Germany, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, said that it was gravely concerned about human rights violations in South Sudan, including ethnically motivated killings and sexual and gender-based violence which had reached epic proportions.  The European Union welcomed the resolution as documenting of atrocities must start without delay before the evidence was lost.  The European Union welcomed the link between the Commission for Human Rights in South Sudan and the Hybrid Court.  The European Union stood ready to support the people of South Sudan in their quest for accountability and peace.
 
South Sudan, speaking as the concerned country, said that it would join consensus on the draft resolution in compliance with its commitment to cooperate with the United Nations and all its various institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights.  South Sudan thanked the African Group and the core group for their full support and solidarity, and commended the United States and other sponsors and co-sponsors for their understanding and cooperation during the engagement on draft resolution.  Reiterating the commitment of the Government of National Unity to the work of the Commission on Human Rights, South Sudan stressed that the Commission must comply with the principles of the United Nations Charter and the principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence laid down in the Human Rights Council 5/1 of 2007 on institution building in the field of human rights.
 
Egypt, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it had constantly sought to provide assistance to South Sudan and finance many infrastructural projects.  Other States had made promises but had not followed up with concrete measures.  Egypt had hoped that the draft resolution would reflect the efforts of the African Union and that it would be far removed from politicization.  The draft resolution went beyond the mandate of the Human Rights Council, as well as of the United Nations.  For those reasons, Egypt would not join the consensus on paragraph 16b. 

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