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Human Rights Council Advisory Committee concludes eleventh session by taking decisions on three texts

16 August 2013

The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee today concluded its eleventh session, adopting three texts for consideration by the Human Rights Council. The Committee also adopted "ad referendum" the report of its session, which should be available on the webpage next week. The report would include the three texts and information on work carried out during the session.

The three texts adopted by consensus were on the promotion and protection of human rights in post-disaster and post-conflict situations; the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights; and the negative impact of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights. For each topic the Advisory Committee would appoint members of a drafting committee to submit a draft interim report of the Advisory Committee at its next session in February 2014, before presenting the texts to the Human Rights Council in June 2014.

During closing statements of the session, several experts whose second term ended next month expressed their confidence in the role of the Advisory Committee and noted the progress in its relations with the Human Rights Council following initial difficulties in that area. Speakers said that the relationship with the Council needed to be further strengthened. A speaker said they should continue to think about ways of enhancing visibility of the Committee as without visibility there would be fewer opportunities to interact, get mandates, and become a known actor. Mandates did not fall from the sky and one had to be proactive in seeking proposals. Working methods should also be reviewed.

The texts adopted this morning will be available on the webpage devoted to the documentation for the eleventh session: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/AdvisoryCommittee/Session11/Pages/Documentation.aspx

The twelfth session of the Advisory Committee will be held in Geneva from 24 to 28 February 2014.

Adoption of Texts


The text on promotion and protection of human rights in post-disaster and post-conflict situations (A/HRC/AC/11/L.1, with oral amendments), adopted by consensus, sets out that the Advisory Committee would appoint members of a drafting group on the issue that would prepare a research-based report. The drafting group was requested to present a progress report at the twelfth session of the Committee in February 2014 before presenting the report at the twenty-sixth session of the Council in June 2014, which would take into account replies to the questionnaire.

The text was presented by Ms. Anantonia Reyes Prado, Vice-President of the Advisory Committee. Ms. Cecilia Rachel V. Quisumbing made oral amendments.

The text on enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights (A/HRC/AC/11/L.2), adopted by consensus, sets out that the Advisory Committee would appoint members of a drafting group that would prepare a more focused and in-depth study on the topic and would submit a progress report at the twenty-sixth session of the Council. The drafting group was requested to present a progress report at the twelfth session of the Committee in February 2014 before presenting the report at the twenty-sixth session of the Council in June 2014, taking into account replies to the questionnaire.

The text was presented by Dheerujlall Seetulsingh.

The text on the negative impact of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights (A/HRC/AC/11/L.3), adopted by consensus, sets out that the Advisory Committee would appoint members of a drafting group that would submit a research-based report on the topic. The drafting group was requested to present a progress report at the twelfth session of the Committee in February 2014 before presenting the report at the twenty-sixth session of the Council in June 2014, taking into account responses to the questionnaire which had been distributed to stakeholders.

The text was presented by Ms. Katharina Pabel.

Adoption of the Report of the Eleventh Session of the Advisory Committee

OBIORA CHINEDU OKAFOR, Rapporteur of the Advisory Committee, introducing the draft report of the eleventh session of the Committee, said that the session had been a particularly constructive one and that a variety of interesting topics were addressed. Collegial working methods had led to fruitful results. The draft report contained a procedural description of work up until the meeting held yesterday afternoon. Today’s proceedings would be reflected in the final report along with the action taken by the Committee today. A complete version would be shared electronically on Monday.

The Report of the Eleventh Session of the Advisory Committee was adopted ad referendum.

Concluding Remarks

GIULIANO COMBA, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said that the session had been constructive and successful. Interaction with Member States in a more informal setting was positive and would strengthen complementarity and synergy between the Committee and the Council. Six members would end their term in September this year and they were thanked for their invaluable contribution and service to the Committee.

MONA ZULFICAR, Committee Expert, speaking on behalf of the African Regional Group, said this would be her last address as her term was coming to an end, and thanked the Chairman and the Secretariat for their great support over five difficult years, the most difficult years of the mechanism, which had started with little good will and much mistrust. She hoped that there was now social capital for the mechanism to count on and that it would become more effective, making human rights a reality in the everyday lives of people around the world.

SAEED MOHAMED AL FAIHANI, Vice-President of the Advisory Committee, speaking on behalf of the Asian Group, said Committee should be strengthened and the most appropriate thing for that was that the Human Rights Council should look at the Committee and its work. The Committee was doing a very good job. In times when human rights issues were gaining momentum, the Committee should continue to be strengthened.

JOSE ANTONIO BENGOA CABELLO, Committee Expert, speaking on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, said a very important session had been concluded. In times when there was not an enormous amount of passion for human rights, an appeal was made to colleagues to find the passion. Human rights had to be rooted in reason, passion and wisdom, making it possible to think about a world that was a little bit better, and faith that this would come to past.

VLADIMIR KARTASHKIN, Committee Expert, speaking on behalf of the Eastern European Group, said that work had been constructive and a number of important issues were addressed. The three studies would play a very important role in the strengthening and promotion of human rights. A foundation for the work of the Advisory Committee had been established. The Committee had got off to a very good start in its work and that would make it possible to make important achievements. However, many important issues had not been resolved, including the relationship between the Advisory Committee and the Human Rights Council. He proposed that an association of former members be set up, which could meet once or twice a year to exchange views between new members and outgoing or former members.

LAURENCE BOISSON DE CHAZOURNES, Committee Expert, speaking on behalf of the Western European and others Group, said he hoped that fruitful exchanges would continue in future sessions. Departing members who had helped build the Committee would be missed and were thanked for their unswerving commitment. An association of former members, but also an association of friends, could be created.

CECILIA RACHEL V. QUISUMBING, Committee Expert, underlined that the session had been very fruitful, particularly because there were mandates to discuss, unlike in February when there was much worry about the lack of mandates. Deep appreciation was expressed to members that would be leaving. It was hoped that the Council and observer States would be able to see that the Committee was a body worthy of having mandates and could be trusted to work within the mandate resolutions.

SHIGEKI SAKAMOTO, Committee Expert, said it had been an honour and privilege to work with the distinguished colleagues of the Committee. Since the Committee was founded a culture of cooperation was fostered through discussions and it was hoped that culture would be strengthened. The Committee faced many challenges to ensure that the twenty-first century was a century of human rights.

CHUNG CHINSUNG, Committee Expert, bid farewell to the Committee. Having spent a quarter of her life in the body she had learned a lot and had had the pleasure to meet wonderful colleagues. The unconditional help of the Secretariat was appreciated.

WOLFGANG STEFAN HEINZ, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee, said it had been a pleasure to chair the Committee, which had moved forward, especially in the last two to three years. One should always thinking about enhancing visibility of the Committee. Without visibility there would be fewer opportunities to interact, get mandates, and become a known actor. Interaction was also important. Mandates did not fall from the sky and one had to be proactive in seeking proposals. Working methods should also be reviewed.

JOSE ANTONIO BENGOA CABELLO, Committee Expert, said he wished to make an extraordinary request and ask whether good offices could be used for a case currently happening in Geneva, although it did not fall under the competence of the Committee, regarding a Mapuche indigenous person, Flor Calfunao, who was being expelled from Switzerland, a situation causing major concern across the indigenous world and in the field of human rights.

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For use of the information media; not an official record