dcsimg


Header image for news printout

Human Rights Council to hold its thirty-sixth regular session from 11 to 29 September 2017

Human Rights Council 
BACKGROUND RELEASE                                                                                           

7 September 2017

The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold its thirty-sixth regular session from 11 to 29 September 2017 in the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.  The session will be opened by Ambassador Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli of El Salvador, President of the Council.  United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein will provide an oral update to the Council at the opening meeting on the activities of his Office and key developments on human rights around the world.  A number of dignitaries are also expected to address the Council on the opening day of the session, including Ministers from Venezuela, Bolivia, Finland, Qatar and the United Kingdom. 

During the three-week session, the Council will hear the presentation of over 80 thematic and country reports by more than 25 human rights experts and investigative bodies on a wide range of issues, including, among others, comprehensive reports on the Syrian Arab Republic, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Yemen.  It will also hold its biennial panel discussion on unilateral coercive measures and human rights; its annual discussion on the integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of the Human Rights Council and that of its mechanisms; its annual half-day discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and a panel discussion on the impact of racial discrimination on the human rights of women and girls.  The Council will also consider and adopt the final outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of 14 States (Algeria, Bahrain, Brazil, Ecuador, Finland, India, Indonesia, Morocco, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

The detailed agenda of the session can be found here, further information on the thirty-sixth session can be found here, and the reports to be presented can be found here.

First Week of the Session

The thirty-sixth session will open on Monday, 11 September at 9 a.m. with an address by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein who will provide an oral update on the situation of human rights around the world.  During the opening day, the Council will also hear addresses by Jorge Arreaza Monteserrat, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar; Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland; Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, State Minister for the Commonwealth and the United Nations of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and Carmen Almendras, Vice Minister of Institutional and Consular Management of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.  For the rest of the day, the Council will hold clustered interactive dialogues with the Working Group on arbitrary detention and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, and with the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons and the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. 

The general debate on the High Commissioner’s oral update will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, 12 September, during which States and non-governmental organizations will deliver statements in response to the High Commissioner’s address the prior day.  The general debate will be followed by a clustered interactive dialogue with the Working Group on enforced disappearances and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, and by a clustered interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order and the Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures.  On Wednesday, 13 September, the Council will dialogue with the Working Group on the use of mercenaries and with the Special Rapporteur on hazardous substances and wastes, and will hold a separate interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to development.  During the day, the Council will also hear an address by Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN.

The general debate on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, is scheduled to start on the morning of 14 September, following a presentation of a series of thematic reports by the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General.  This will be followed by the Council’s biennial panel discussion on unilateral coercive measures and human rights.  On Friday 15 September, the Council will hold its annual discussion on the integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of the Human Rights Council and that of its mechanisms, and conclude the general debate on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.

Second Week of the Session

At the beginning of the second week, the Council will address item 4 of its agenda on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention, by holding an interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, which will present its written update on the human rights situation in this country.  Also on Monday, the Council will engage in an enhanced dialogue on the situation of human rights in South Sudan with the representatives of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the African Union, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other stakeholders.  In its afternoon meeting, the Council will hold an interactive dialogue with an independent international fact-finding mission on Myanmar after hearing the presentation of its oral update to the Council on 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.  On Tuesday 19 September, the Council will hold its interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi and the consideration of its final report on the human rights violations and abuses in Burundi since April 2015, including on their extent and whether they constituted international crimes.

The annual panel discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples commemorating the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will take place on the morning of Wednesday, 20 September.  It will be followed by a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and the Expert Mechanism on the rights of indigenous peoples; an interactive dialogue with the Advisory Committee; and a general debate on human rights bodies and mechanisms, including on the report of the Intergovernmental Working Group on rights of peasants.  On Thursday and Friday, the Human Rights Council will discuss outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of the following countries: Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Finland, United Kingdom, India, Brazil, the Philippines, Algeria, Poland, the Netherlands and South Africa, and will conclude its second week with a general debate on human rights bodies and mechanisms and a general debate on the Universal Periodic Review.  At 5.30 p.m. on Friday 22 September, the Council will meet in private to hear a report from  its complaint procedure.

Third Week of the Session

The final week of the thirty-sixth session will start with a general debate on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, a general debate on follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and an interactive dialogue with the Working Group of Experts on people of African descent, including on its annual report in the context of the International Decade for People of African Descent.  The panel discussion on the impact of racial discrimination on the human rights of women and girls will take place in the afternoon of Monday, 25 September.  During the day, the Council will also hear an address from Mankeur Ndiaye, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal.

On Tuesday, 26 September, the Council will hold a general debate on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.  Under technical assistance and capacity-building, the Council will hear the High Commissioner’s oral update on the situation in Ukraine; hold an enhanced interactive dialogue on the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and hold separate interactive dialogues with the Special Rapporteur on Cambodia and the Independent Expert on Somalia.  The consideration of the agenda item on technical assistance and capacity-building will continue on Wednesday, 27 September, with the Council discussing the High Commissioner’s oral update on the human rights situation in Libya; engaging in a dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Sudan and a dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Central African Republic; and hearing the presentation of country reports by the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General, including on Cambodia, Yemen and Georgia, and a general debate on those reports and on technical assistance and capacity-building. On Wednesday, the Council will also hear an address from Faustin Archange Touadera, President of the Central African Republic.

The Council will take action on decisions and resolutions on 28 and 29 September, appoint Special Procedure mandate holders, elect members of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, and adopt the report of the session before concluding the session.

The Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system, made up of 47 States which are responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.  The Council was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 15 March 2006 with the main purpose of addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them.

The composition of the Human Rights Council in 2017 is as follows: Albania, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, and Venezuela.

The President of the Human Rights Council in 2017 is Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli, Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the United Nations Office at Geneva.  The Council’s four Vice Presidents are Amr Ahmed Ramadan of Egypt, Shalva Tsiskarashvili of Georgia, Valentin Zellweger of Switzerland, and Mouayed Saleh of Iraq.

For further information and media requests, please contact Rolando Gómez (+ 41 22 917 9711 / rgomez@ohchr.org), Cédric Sapey (+41 22 917 97 51 / csapey@ohchr.org) or Sarah Lubbersen (+ 41 22 917 9689 / slubbersen@ohchr.org)

Follow the Human Rights Council online and on social media

· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UNHRC
· Twitter: https://twitter.com/UN_HRC (Use hashtag #HRC34 for this session)
· Website: http://www.ohchr.org/HRC

To receive a username and password to access the HRC Extranet, please fill out the following form: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/HRCRegistration.aspx.

 __________

For use of the information media; not an official record

Follow UNIS Geneva on: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube |Flickr