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Human Rights Council holds its twenty-ninth regular session from 15 June to 3 July 2015

Human Rights Council

BACKGROUND RELEASE

9 June 2015 

The Human Rights Council will hold its twenty-ninth regular session from 15 June to 3 July 2015 in the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Highlights of the three-week session will include a report from United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, on the activities of his Office since the last session.   The Independent Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea and the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Conflict in Gaza will present their latest reports to the Council. The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria will also present an oral update to the Council.  The Council will also address the terrorist attacks and human rights abuses committed by Boko Haram and the human rights situations in Belarus, the Central African Republic and Côte d'Ivoire.  The programme includes two panel discussions, on the education of girls and on the effects of terrorism, and a full-day discussion on women’s rights which will focus on preventing domestic violence against women and girls and also women’s participation in decision-making processes. 

Click here for the detailed agenda. Reports for the twenty-ninth session can be found here, and other information can be found on the homepage of the Human Rights Council website.  Council meetings will be webcast live and can be viewed here: http://webtv.un.org.

Week One of the Session

The President of the Human Rights Council, Joachim Rücker, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations Office at Geneva, will open the session at 9 a.m. on Monday, 15 June.  The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, will subsequently present an update on the activities of his Office since the last session, followed by a general debate.  The programme for the first week includes a panel discussion on realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl, at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 16 June, and the annual full-day discussion on women’s rights, on Friday, 19 June. 

In the afternoon of Monday, 15 June the Council will hear reports from and hold interactive dialogues with the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on the rights of migrants, and on minority issues with a study on Roma.  On Tuesday, 16 June the Council will meet with the Working Group on transnational corporations and human rights, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women and the Special Rapporteur on internally displaced persons. 

On Wednesday, 17 June the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression and the Special Rapporteur on peaceful assembly and association will take part in a clustered interactive dialogue with the Council.  The same day the Council will meet with the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and the Special Rapporteur on the right to health.  On Thursday, 18 June the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity, the Special Rapporteur on summary executions and the Working Group on discrimination against women will discuss their latest reports with the Council.

Week Two of the Session

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria will provide an oral update to the Council at 9 a.m. on 23 June, followed by an interactive discussion on the human rights situation in Syria.  That afternoon the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea will present its first report to the Council, followed by a presentation by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea.  The Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus will also present a report that day. 

The Special Rapporteurs on combatting extreme poverty and on counter-terrorism will discuss the findings of their latest reports with the Council on Monday, 22 June.  That afternoon the thematic reports of the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner will be discussed, followed by a general debate.  On Thursday 25 June the Council will discuss the reports of the Social Forum, Forum on Business and Human Rights, and the Intergovernmental Working Group on the right to peace.  Additionally, on Wednesday 24, Thursday 25 and Friday, 26 June, the Council will consider the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Reviews of the following fourteen countries: Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Guinea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Spain, Lesotho, Kenya, Armenia, Guinea-Bissau, Sweden, Grenada, Turkey, Guyana and Kuwait.

Week Three of the Session

The Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Conflict in Gaza will brief the Council on Monday, 29 June, and on Wednesday, 1 July the Council will hear an oral update from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Boko Haram. The Council will also hear from the Independent Expert on the Central African Republic and the Independent Expert on Côte d’Ivoire on 30 June.

The third week will also include a panel discussion on the effects of terrorism on human rights and fundamental freedoms on Tuesday, 30 June, and a report from the Special Rapporteur on racism on 29 June.   On 1 July, the Council will hear a presentation  on technical assistance and capacity building provided by the OHCHR to various countries as well as a presentation by the Board of Trustees of the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation. 

The Council will take action on the draft resolutions and decisions tabled during the session on Thursday, 2 and Friday, 3 July, after which the President of the Council will appoint six new independent expert mandate holders under the Special Procedures before concluding the session (see complete list here). 

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 Council at its twenty-ninth session is of the following 47 countries: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Botswana, Brazil, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Maldives, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) and Viet Nam.

The President of the Human Rights Council is Joachim Rücker, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations Office at Geneva, who took up the post on 1 January 2015.  The Council’s four Vice Presidents are Filloreta Kodra of Albania, Juan Esteban Aguirre Martinez of Paraguay, Mukhtar Tileuberdi of Kazakhstan and Mothusi Bruce Rabasha Palai of Botswana.  Rabasha Palai of Botswana is the Rapporteur of the Council. 

For further information and media requests, please contact Rolando Gomez (+ 41.22.917.9711 / rgomez@ohchr.org) or Cedric Sapey (+41.22.917.9695 / csapey@ohchr.org). 
 
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