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Human Rights Council to hold its thirty-fifth regular session from 6 to 23 June 2017

GENEVA (31 May 2017) – The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold its thirty-fifth regular session from 6 to 23 June 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.  

During the three-week session, the Council will hear the presentation of more than 80 thematic and country reports by more than 30 human rights experts and investigative bodies on a wide range of issues. It will also hold two panel discussions, its annual full-day discussion on the human rights of women, and its annual half-day thematic discussion on technical cooperation.  

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

The thirty-fifth session will open on Tuesday, 6 June at 9 a.m. with an address by Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay, which will be followed by 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. For the rest of the day, the Council will hold clustered interactive dialogues with the Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity and the Special Rapporteur on summary executions; with the Special Rapporteur on health and the Independent Expert on international solidarity; and with the Special Rapporteur on peaceful assembly and association and the Special Rapporteur on the right to education. The general debate on the High Commissioner’s oral update will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, 7 June, followed by a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on internally displaced persons and the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty. 

On Thursday, 8 June, the Council will hold a panel discussion on enhancing capacity-building in public health from 9 a.m. until noon. In the afternoon, a clustered interactive dialogue with the Working Group on transnational corporations and human rights and the Special Rapporteur on migrants will be held, followed by an individual interactive dialogue with the Working Group on discrimination against women. On Friday, 9 June, the Council will hold an individual interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in the morning, and starting at 3 p.m., it will hold a panel discussion on unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents and human rights. 

During the second week, on Monday 12 June, the Council will hold a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, and an individual interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of expression. This will be followed by the presentation of the thematic reports of the Secretary General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and a general debate on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.  

On Tuesday 13 June, the Council will hold its annual full-day discussion on the human rights of women, focusing on integrating the human rights of women throughout the United Nations system. In the morning, the focus will be on engaging men and boys in preventing and responding to violence against women and girls, while the second panel will address the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a special focus on health and gender equality. 

On Wednesday, 14 June, the Council starts its review of reports under human rights situations that require the Council’s attention and will hold individual interactive dialogues with the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, with the Special Rapporteur on Belarus, and with the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea. It will hold an individual interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi on Thursday, 15 June, followed by the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, and finish off the day with a general debate on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention. On Friday, 16 June, the Council will hear the presentation of the report of the Forum on Business and Human Rights, followed by a general debate on human rights bodies and mechanisms. In the afternoon, it will hold a general debate on the Universal Periodic Review. 

During the third and last week of the Council, it will hear on Monday, 19 June the presentation of the High Commissioner’s reports, followed by a general debate on follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. This will be followed by an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on racism, and 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. 

On Tuesday, 20 June, the Council, under technical assistance and capacity-building, will hold separate interactive dialogues with the Independent Expert on Côte d’Ivoire, and on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by its annual thematic discussion on technical cooperation, more specifically reflecting on the challenges faced during its first decade as well as discussing the way ahead. It will hold an interactive dialogue on the regular periodic update on Ukraine on Wednesday, 21 June, followed by the High Commissioners’ oral update on Georgia, and finally, a general debate on technical assistance and capacity building. 

The Council will take action on decisions and resolutions on 22 and 23 June, appoint Special Procedure mandate holders, 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), or Cédric Sapey (+41 22 917 97 51/ csapey@ohchr.org)

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