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Human Rights Council closes forty-third regular session after adopting 43 texts, including on establishing a fact-finding mission on Libya and on asking the High Commissioner to report on systemic racism against Africans and people of African descent

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23 June 2020

​Human Rights Council                                                                              

Roundup

23 June 2020

 

Extends Mandates on Situation of Human Rights in Iran, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria and Mali, and Thematic Mandates on Freedom of Expression, Migrants, Minority Issues, Foreign Debt, Adequate Housing, Human Rights Defenders, Torture, Sale of Children, the Durban Declaration and Racism

The Human Rights Council this afternoon concluded its resumed forty-third regular session after adopting 43 texts, including one that asked the High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish a fact-finding mission on Libya to document alleged violations and abuses by all parties since 2016, and another that asked her to prepare a report on systemic racism against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement agencies.

The forty-third session started in Geneva on 24 February.  It suspended its session on 13 March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The session resumed on 15 June and concluded on 23 June. 

Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger of Austria, President of the Council, opened the session on 24 February, during which the Council heard an address by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, who launched his Call for Action for Human Rights.  He said that he chose to do so now during the seventy-fifth anniversary year of the United Nations because human rights were under assault.

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said current world events required the attention of this high-level session of the Council, both in the short and long term.  Although threats to human rights, development and peace were on the rise, so were the practicable solutions to these issues. 

The Council also heard at the opening from Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly, and Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.  During its three-day high-level segment, and in the course of the session, the Council heard statements from 101 dignitaries, including three Heads of State and two Deputy Prime Ministers.

On 13 March, taking note of the measures adopted by the host country Switzerland to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, the Council extended all mandates and mandated activities that would otherwise expire, until the resumption of the forty-third session, and appointed 19 Special Procedure mandate holders, before suspending the session. 

On 9 April, the Council held an informal discussion on the implications of the COVID-19 crisis on human rights around the world with the High Commissioner.  The Council decided to request the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the enjoyment of human rights around the world, including good practices and areas of concern, and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-sixth session, and invite her to give an oral update on the human rights impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the Human Rights Council at its forty-fourth session following the presentation of her annual report, and an oral update at its forty-fifth session to be followed by an enhanced interactive dialogue.  On 30 April the Council held another informal discussion focusing on the action carried out by Special Procedure mandate holders in the context of COVID-19

The forty-third session then resumed on 15 June. 

The Council held on 17 and 18 June an urgent debate on current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests.  It heard calls from speakers for the Council to establish an international commission of inquiry to investigate systemic racism in law enforcement in the United States and other parts of the world.

In a resolution adopted by consensus, the Council decided to request the High Commissioner for Human Rights, with the assistance of relevant Special Mandate Holders, to prepare a report on systemic racism, violations of international human rights law against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement agencies, especially those incidents that resulted in the death of George Floyd and other Africans and of people of African descent, to contribute to accountability and redress for victiMs.  The Council further requested the High Commissioner to examine government responses to antiracism peaceful process peaceful protests, including the alleged use of excessive force against protesters, bystanders and journalists.

In a resolution on technical assistance and capacity-building to improve human rights in Libya, adopted without a vote, the Council requested the High Commissioner to establish and dispatch a fact-finding mission to Libya to establish the facts and circumstances of the situation of human rights throughout Libya, and to collect and review relevant information to document alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by all parties in Libya since the beginning of 2016, including any gendered dimensions of such violations and abuses, and to preserve evidence with a view to ensuring that perpetrators of violations or abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law are held accountable.

By a vote of 27 in favour, 2 against and 18 abstentions, the Council extended, for a period of one year, the mandate of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic and deplored the fact that the conflict in this country continued in its ninth year with its devastating impact on the civilian population.  It further extended, for a further period of one year, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran by a vote of 22 in favour, 8 against and 15 abstentions; the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea without a vote; the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan without a vote; the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, by a vote of 37 in favour, 2 against and 8 abstentions; the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea without a vote; and the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali without a vote.

The Council extended the mandates of the Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights defenders; on torture; on the sale and sexual exploitation of children; on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context; on the human rights of migrants; and on minority issues

The mandates of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, and the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, were also extended.

As for the situation of human rights in Nicaragua, by a vote of 24 in favour, 4 against and 19 abstentions, the Council requested the High Commissioner to enhance monitoring by the Office of the High Commissioner and to continue to report on the situation of human rights in Nicaragua, including by preparing a comprehensive written report that assesses progress and challenges regarding that situation, and to present it to the Human Rights Council at its forty-sixth session, to be followed by an interactive dialogue, and to present oral updates on the situation of human rights to the Council at its forty-fourth and forty-fifth sessions.

The Council adopted five resolutions on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.  In the context of technical assistance and capacity-building, the Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to provide technical assistance on cooperation with Georgia through her office in Tbilisi. 

The Council also adopted texts on birth registration, the right to work; cultural diversity; the right to food; freedom of religion or belief; mental health; unilateral coercive measures; regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights; promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal; promotion and protection of human rights and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; promoting mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of human rights; awareness raising on the rights of persons with disabilities, and habilitation and rehabilitation; prevention of genocide; the methods of work of the Consultative Group of the Human Rights Council; and discrimination based on religion or belief.

The Council held two thematic high-level panel discussions: one on human rights mainstreaming, which focused on children's rights, and another one on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Conference.  It held its annual debate on the rights of persons with disabilities and a debate on racial discrimination.  It also held an enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a high-level dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic.  It held an interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in Ukraine.

During the session, the Council adopted the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of 14 States, namely Italy, El Salvador, Gambia, Bolivia, Fiji, San Marino, Kazakhstan, Angola, Iran, Madagascar, Iraq, Slovenia, Egypt and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Nine general debates were held during the session, on the High Commissioner's oral update on 27 February; on the promotion and protection of all human rights on 5 March; on human rights situations that require the Council's attention on 10 March; on human rights bodies and mechanisms on 11 March; on the Universal Periodic Review on 13 March; on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, and on follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action on 15 and 16 June; on racism and racial discrimination on 17 June; and on technical assistance and capacity-building on 17 June.  Interactive dialogues were held with 19 mandate holders, three commissions of inquiry and one team of experts.

The Council adopted the report of the forty-third session ad referendum.

In concluding remarks, Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger of Austria, President of the Council, said this session was one to be remembered.  She thanked all those present for their dedication, flexibility and creativity in implementing the many precautionary measures necessary to ensure that the Council's voice was not silent in these difficult times.

Documentation, statements, resolutions and reports relating to this and all Human Rights Council sessions are available on its webpage.  Detailed coverage of every public meeting, in English and in French, can be found on the website of the United Nations Office at Geneva.   

Additional information about the session can be found in the background document and on the webpage of the Human Rights Council which contains documentation, statements, resolutions and reports.

The forty-third regular session of the Human Rights Council was held from 24 February to 13 March and then, after a suspension of the session due to COVID-19, from 15 to 23 June.  The forty-fourth session will start at 10 a.m.  on Tuesday, 30 July in the Assembly Hall.  The provisional programme of work will soon be available here.

Summary of the Programme of Work

Session Opening

Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger of Austria, President of the Council, opened the forty-third session on 24 February and stressed the impact of the Human Rights Council on the ground for the people who suffered conflict and infringement of rights and for those who defended them.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres launched "The highest aspiration: a Call to Action for human rights", because human rights were under assault.  It singled out seven areas where concerted effort could achieve a quantum leap in progress or avert the risk of backsliding: human rights at the core of sustainable development, the importance of human rights in times of crisis, gender equality and equal rights for women, public participation and civic space, the rights of future generations, collective action, and new frontiers of human rights.

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that although threats to human rights, development and peace were on the rise, so were the practicable solutions to these issues.  Today's turbulent political landscape required usable policy tools with a proven track record of success, such as measures that increased access to education, health-care and universal social protection.  Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the United Nations General Assembly, reminded that many lives depended on how well the United Nations was able to coordinate its three main pillars: human rights, peace and security and development.  Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, noted that the United Nations Charter should not be taken for granted and stressed that human rights, peace and security and development were the foundation of the rule of law in which all believed.

First Week of the Session (24 to 28 February)

During the three-day high-level segment which followed the session opening and in the course of the session, 101 dignitaries participated, including three Heads of State and two Deputy Prime Ministers, speaking about their national efforts to promote and protect human rights, challenges facing the multilateral order, and human rights violations globally.  Many dignitaries voiced concern about grave human rights violations in countries around the world and welcomed the Call to Action on Human Rights launched by the United Nations Secretary-General.

On Monday 24 February, the annual high-level panel discussion on human rights mainstreaming reviewed the 30 years of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The following day, a high-level panel discussion celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and its vision of women's rights as human rights, and explored how it could accelerate progress towards the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all women and girls.

On Wednesday 26 February, the Council discussed the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and East Jerusalem, including in the context of large-scale civilian protests.  It also held an interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in Eritrea with the Special Rapporteur, Daniela Kravetz, who in her oral update, noted the lack of progress in key areas, including the promotion of civil liberties and strengthening the rule of law. 

In an interactive dialogue with Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights, on Thursday 27 February, the Council discussed the report on the root causes of the violations and abuses suffered by the Rohingya Muslim minority and other minorities in Myanmar and her annual report on the work of her Office and an oral update on recent human rights developments around the world.  Among other issues, the High Commissioner highlighted human rights concerns linked to restrictive migration policies, protests fuelled by profound inequalities in many countries, the attacks on civilians by violent extremist groups in the Sahel, and the rolling back of environmental protection and policies and attacks against environmental and human rights defenders in several countries.  The general debate on her update and country reports by the Secretary-General and her Office was held on 27 and 28 February

On Friday 28 February, the Council discussed the notion of "psychological torture" under human rights law with the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  With the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, the Council explored how ableism medical and scientific practice generated social prejudice and discrimination against persons with disabilities.

Second Week of the Session (2 to 6 March)

In its second week, the Council continued to hold interactive dialogues with special procedure mandate-holders on a range of human rights issues.  On Monday 2 March it reviewed good practices in the realization of the right to a healthy environment, examined the effect of private debt on human rights and addressed gender-based violence and discrimination in the name of religion or belief.   The Council, acting on the recommendations of the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva and Swiss federal authorities concerning the COVID-19 situation, decided to cancel all side events starting on 3 March.

That day, it engaged with the Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children on key challenges and the way forward for her mandate, and examined the situation of women and children impacted by albinism as well as the interplay between food systems, food crises and the future of the right to food. 

On Wednesday 4 March, the Council discussed the situation of cultural rights defenders and human rights defenders operating in conflict and post-conflict situations, and assessed the human rights impact of policies and practices aimed at preventing and countering violent extremism.  This was followed by a debate on the recommendations for protecting against gender-based privacy infringements and on the Guidelines for the Implementation of the Right to Adequate Housing on Thursday 5 March.  The general debate on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, started on 5 March and concluded on Monday 9 March. 

On Friday 6 March the Council celebrated International Women's Day, hearing from the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and it held its annual debate on the rights of persons with disabilities which focused on awareness-raising. 

Third Week of the Session (9 to 13 March)

As the third week of the session opened, the Council took up its agenda item 4 - human rights situations that require the Council's attention. 

On Monday 9 March, it held separate dialogues with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, whose report focused on the plight of women in the country, and with the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, whose Chair highlighted that more than half of South Sudan's population had been deliberately starved.  The Council also heard the presentation of the oral update of the Secretary-General on the involvement of the United Nations in Myanmar since 2011 (the "Rosenthal report"), delivered by the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination, Volker Türk. 

It also discussed the situation of human rights in Iran, including the impact of sanctions, the arrest and imprisonment of human rights defenders and lawyers and conditions of detention and fair trial rights.  The Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi highlighted the deterioration in the political and security situation, worsening humanitarian needs and widespread impunity for human rights violations.  In his update to the Council, the Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria stressed that nearly one million Syrians had been displaced since December 2019; 80 per cent were women and children and they were stranded in a rapidly shrinking enclave.

On Tuesday 10 March, the High Commissioner for Human Rights updated the Council about the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, where systematic human rights violations, including sexual violence against women and girls, was occurring.  In her update on Venezuela, Ms. Bachelet highlighted, among other issues, the aggression towards journalists and opposition political activists and the impact on the population of new economic sanctions.  In her last report to the Council, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar noted the serious nature of the conflict and stressed that an end to impunity was the lynchpin to a successful transition to democracy.  The Council then held a general debate on human rights situations that require its attention, which it concluded the following day.

On Wednesday 11 March, the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on minority issues took place, during which the Council discussed the interlinkages between education, language and the human rights of minorities.  The Forum on Minority Issues, the Social Forum and the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures presented their reports to the Council, which also discussed the report on the contribution of the Human Rights Council to the prevention of human rights violations.

On Thursday 12 March, the Council adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Italy, El Salvador, Gambia and Bolivia, the outcomes of Fiji, San Marino, Iran, Angola and Kazakhstan, and the outcomes of Madagascar, Iraq, Slovenia and Egypt.  On Friday 13 March, it adopted the Universal Periodic Review outcome of Bosnia and Herzegovina and debated the midterm review of the International Decade for People of African Descent.  Prior to suspending the session due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Council extended all mandates and mandated activities that would otherwise expire, until the resumption of the forty-third session, and appointed 19 Special Procedure mandate holders.

The Council then suspended its current forty-third session until further notice.

Fourth Week of the Session (15 to 23 June)

On Monday 15 June, the Human Rights Council resumed its forty-third session, and held a general debate on human rights bodies and mechanisms.  The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights presented her report and that of the Secretary-General on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.  The Council also held a general debate on the Universal Periodic Review.  On Tuesday 16 June, held a general debate on the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.  It also heard the presentation of the report of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, and began a general debate on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance.

On Wednesday 17 June, the Human Right Council began an urgent debate on current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests.  It also held an enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after hearing an oral update from Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and started an interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Mali

On Thursday 18 June, the Council concluded the urgent debate on current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests.  It held interactive dialogues on the situation of human rights in Libya and the situation of human rights in Ukraine.

The Human Rights Council on Friday 19 June concluded a high-level dialogue on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic.  It then heard a presentation on the report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, as well as presentations of the High Commissioner in relation to item 10, on the overview of successes, best practices and challenges in technical assistance and capacity-building efforts, and the report of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights.

On 19 and 22 June, the Council adopted 39 resolutions and one decision.  One Presidential Statement and two other decisions were also adopted under the session, which concluded on 23 June.

Resolutions

Action on Texts under Agenda Item 1 on Organizational and Procedural Matters

In a decision (A/HRC/43/L.14) on the extension of mandates and mandated activities, adopted without a vote, the Council takes note of the measures adopted by the host country Switzerland, to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, and, recalling that on 12 March 2020 it decided to suspend its forty-third session on 13 March until further notice, it decided to extend all mandates and mandated activities that would otherwise expire, until the date on which they could be considered by the Council when the forty-third session is resumed.

In a Presidential Statement (A/HRC/43/L.42) on the human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the enjoyment of human rights around the world, including good practices and areas of concern, and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-sixth session.  The Council further invites the High Commissioner to give an oral update on the human rights impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the Human Rights Council at its forty-fourth session following the presentation of her annual report, and an oral update at its forty-fifth session to be followed by an enhanced interactive dialogue.

In a decision (A/HRC/43/L.41) submitted by the President of the Human Rights Council, the Council decides that both the present draft decision and the draft President's statement on COVID-19 shall be considered adopted as part of the forty-third session of the Council, which shall be deemed resumed at the moment the silence procedure expires for the sole purpose of adopting these two documents, and suspended again immediately thereafter.  The Council further decides that the procedure for the adoption of the draft President's statement on COVID-19 shall apply solely to the current exceptional circumstances during which plenary meetings of the Human Rights Council are not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that it shall not serve as a precedent.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.50) on the promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and of people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council strongly condemns the continuing racially discriminatory and violent practices perpetrated by law enforcement agencies against Africans and people of African descent, in particular which led to the death of George Floyd on 25 May 2020 in Minnesota, as referred to in PP9 and the deaths of other people of African descent, and further condemn the  structural racism in the criminal justice system.  The Council requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights, with the assistance of relevant Special Mandate Holders, to prepare a report on systemic racism, violations of international human rights law against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement agencies, especially those incidents that resulted in the death of George Floyd and other Africans and of people of African descent, to contribute to accountability and redress for victiMs.  The Council further requests the High Commissioner to examine government responses to antiracism peaceful process peaceful protests, including the alleged use of excessive force against protesters, bystanders and journalists.

The Council requests the High Commissioner to provide an oral update on the preparation of her report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-fifth and forty-sixth sessions, and to present a comprehensive report to the Council at its forty-seventh session, followed by an interactive dialogue, and include updates on police brutality against Africans and people of African descent in all her oral updates to the Council.

Action on Texts under Agenda Item 2 on the Report of the High Commissioner and Reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.35) on the promotion and protection of human rights in Nicaragua, adopted by a vote of 24 in favour, 4 against and 19 abstentions, the Council requests the High Commissioner to enhance monitoring by the Office of the High Commissioner and to prepare a comprehensive written report, and to present it to the Human Rights Council at its forty-sixth session, to be followed by an interactive dialogue, and to present oral updates on the situation of human rights to the Council at its forty-fourth and forty-fifth sessions.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.36) on ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, adopted by a vote of 22 in favour, 8 against and 17 abstentions, the Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to report on how all parties can fulfil their obligations in implementing the recommendations reviewed by the High Commissioner in 2017, including measures of accountability and legal measures to be taken by states, and to present a report to the Council at its forty-sixth session, to be followed by an interactive dialogue.

Action on Texts under Agenda Item 3 on the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, including the Right to Development

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.2) 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 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 or her mandate.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.3) on birth registration and the right of everyone to recognition everywhere as a person before the law, adopted without a vote, the Council welcomes the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on best practices and specific measures to ensure access to birth registration, particularly for those children most at risk, and requests the High Commissioner to identify and actively pursue opportunities to collaborate with the United Nations Statistics Division and other relevant stakeholders.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.4) on the human rights of migrants: mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend for a period of three years, effective from the end of its forty-fourth session, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.  The Council further requests the Special Rapporteur to continue his or her programme of visits, which contributes to improving the protection afforded to the human rights of migrants and to the broad and full implementation of all aspects of the mandate.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.5) on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, adopted without a vote, the Council strongly urges all States to take concrete steps to create, in law and in practice, a safe and enabling environment in which human rights defenders can operate free from hindrance and insecurity.  The Council further decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders for a period of three years in the same terms as provided for by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 16/5.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.6) on the right to work, adopted without a vote, the Council 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 enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities, with an emphasis on their empowerment, to indicate the major challenges and best practices in that regard, and to submit the report to the Human Rights Council prior to its forty-sixth session in an accessible format.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.9) on the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities: mandate of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the High Commissioner to continue to present an annual report to the Human Rights Council containing information on relevant developments of United Nations human rights bodies and mechanisms, and on the activities undertaken by the Office of the High Commissioner.  The Council further decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues for a period of three years under the same terms as provided for by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 25/5.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.10) on the promotion of the enjoyment of the cultural rights of everyone and respect for cultural diversity, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide all the human and financial resources necessary for the effective fulfilment of the mandate by the Special Rapporteur.  The Council further requests the Special Rapporteur to continue to work, within her mandate, with relevant stakeholders, and to report regularly to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.11) on the mandate of the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, adopted by a vote of 26 in favour, 15 against and 6 abstained (as orally revised), the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert for a period of three years.  The Council requests the Secretary-General to provide the Independent Expert with all necessary assistance, in particular all the staff and resources required to carry out his or her functions.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.12) on the right to food, adopted without a vote, the Council expresses its deep concern that The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019.  The Council requests all States, private actors, international organizations and agencies, within their respective mandates, to take fully into account the need to promote the effective realization of the right to food for all.  The Council further requests the Special Rapporteur on the right to food to participate in relevant international dialogues and policy forums.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.18) on freedom of religion or belief, adopted without a vote, the Council urges States to step up their efforts to promote and protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief and calls upon States to make use of the potential of education for the eradication of prejudices against and stereotypes of individuals on the basis of their religion or belief.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.19) on mental health and human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the High Commissioner to organize in 2021, and no later than the seventy-fourth session of the World Health Assembly, a one-day consultation to discuss the best ways to harmonize national practices relating to mental health with the norms of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  The Council further requests the High Commissioner to prepare a report on the outcome of the consultation and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-ninth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.20) on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to non-discrimination in this context, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States to take urgent measures to  address inadequate housing and to improve the living circumstances of persons residing in  informal settlements.  The Council decides to extend, for a period of three years, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.21) on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, adopted by a vote of 25 in favour, 16 against and 6 abstained, the Council requests the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights to continue his or her work, and to focus on the resources and compensation necessary to promote accountability and reparations for victims in his or her next reports to the Human Rights Council and to the General Assembly.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.22) on regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the High Commissioner to hold, in 2022, a workshop on regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights.  The Council also requests the High Commissioner to present to the Human Rights Council, at its fifty-second session, a report containing a summary of the discussions held at the above-mentioned workshop and the progress made towards the implementation of the resolution.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.24) on promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal, adopted without a vote, the Council decides that the title of the thematic panel discussion with regard to promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal to be held at the forty-seventh session of the Council and fully accessible to persons with disabilities, will be "the potential of leveraging sport and the Olympic ideal for promoting human rights for young people".

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.26) on the prevention of genocide, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council requests all Governments to cooperate fully with the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and further requests the Secretary-General to draw up a roster of focal points and networks on the prevention of genocide and requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to convene, before the forty-sixth session of the Human Rights Council, a one-day intersessional meeting on cooperation in strengthening capacities for the prevention of genocide and prepare a summary report to submit it to the Human Rights Council at its forty-seventh session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.27) on the promotion and protection of human rights and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council decides to organize three half-day intersessional meetings for dialogue and cooperation on human rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  The Council further requests the Office of the High Commissioner to compile a report on best practices, challenges and lessons learned concerning integrated approaches to the promotion and protection of human rights and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the national level and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-first session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.30) 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 and urges States to, inter alia, cooperate fully with and to assist the Special Rapporteur in the performance of his or her tasks and to respond favourably to the Special Rapporteur's requests to visit their countries.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.31) on promoting mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of human rights, adopted by a vote of 23 in favour, 16 against and 8 abstentions, the Council decides to convene at its forty-sixth session a meeting under item 3 of its agenda, with a duration of two hours, to be presided over by the President of the Human Rights Council, on the theme of the role of poverty alleviation in promoting and protecting human rights, and encourages States to take this opportunity to facilitate relevant technical cooperation.  The Council further decides to remain seized of the matter.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.32) on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and other child sexual abuse material, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and other child sexual abuse material for a further period of three years.  The Council further requests all States to cooperate fully with and assist the Special Rapporteur in the performance of his or her tasks.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.34) on awareness raising on the rights of persons with disabilities, and habilitation and rehabilitation, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States  to  take  immediate,  effective  and  appropriate  measures  to raise awareness regarding persons with disabilities.  The Council further decides that its next annual interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities will be held at its forty-sixth session and will focus on participation in sport under article 30 of the Convention, and will have international sign interpretation and captioning.

Action on Resolutions under Agenda Item 4 on Human Rights Situations that Require the Council's Attention

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.8) on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, adopted by a vote of 22 in favour, 8 against and 15 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 forty-sixth session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-fifth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.17) on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the High Commissioner to provide an oral update at its forty-sixth session, and to submit a full written report on the implementation of the recommendations to the Council at its forty-sixth session.  The Council further decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for a period of one year and invites the High Commissioner to provide the Council with regular updates.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.23) on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, adopted by a vote of 37 in favour, 2 against and 8 abstentions, the Council 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 new mandate holder to present an oral progress report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-fourth and forty-fifth sessions and to submit a report to the Third Committee at the seventy-fifth session of the General Assembly and to the Council at its forty-sixth session, and invites the Special Rapporteur to continue to monitor the situation of human rights, measure progress, undertake thematic research and provide detailed updates.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.29) on the situation of human rights in South Sudan, adopted without a vote, the Council urges the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity to establish all transitional institutions in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Revitalized Agreement.  The Council decides to extend the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan and requests the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan to convene two workshops on transitional justice, and to work collaboratively with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.33) on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, adopted by a vote of 27 in favour, 2 against and 18 abstentions as orally revised, the Council reaffirms that there can only be a political solution to the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, demands that all parties work towards a genuine political transition based on the Geneva communiqué and Security Council resolution 2254 (2015).  The Council further requests the Commission of Inquiry to provide an oral update to the Human Rights Council during the interactive dialogue at its forty-fourth session, and to present an updated written report during an interactive dialogue at its forty-fifth and forty-sixth sessions.

Action on Resolution under Agenda Item 5 on Human Rights Bodies and Mechanisms 

In a decision (A/HRC/43/L.25/REV.1) on the methods of work of the Consultative Group of the Human Rights Council, adopted by a vote of 31 in favour, 12 against and 4 abstentions, the Council requests the President of the Human Rights Council to conduct before the end of 2020 no fewer than two and no more than five rounds of open consultations of a maximum of five days with States and relevant stakeholders, aiming to formulate draft methods of work of the Consultative Group of the Council.  The Council requests the President of the Council to submit the draft methods of work of the Consultative Group to the Council for consideration before the end of 2020.

Action on Resolutions under Agenda Item 7 on the Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories 

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.28) on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan, adopted by a vote of 26 in favour, 17 against and 4 abstentions, the Council calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan.  The Council determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken or to be taken by Israel that seek to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan are null and void, and again calls upon States Members of the United Nations not to recognize any of the above-mentioned legislative or administrative measures.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.37/REV.1) on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, adopted by a vote of 36 in favour, 2 against and 9 abstentions as orally revised, the Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on the consequences of the intensification of settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in and around East Jerusalem and the so-called E-1 area, for the contiguity of the Palestinian Territory and their implications for the rights of the Palestinian people, and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-sixth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.38/REV.1) on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, adopted by a vote of 42 in favour, 2 against and 3 abstentions, the Council demands that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.  The Council further requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on the allocation of water resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to recommend measures to ensure the implementation of equitable access to safe drinking water in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in accordance with international law, and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-sixth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.39) on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, adopted by a vote of 43 in favour, 2 against and 2 abstentions, the Council calls upon all States to ensure their obligations of non-recognition, non-aid or assistance with regard to the serious breaches of peremptory norms of international law by Israel.  The Council further urges all States to adopt measures as required to promote the realization of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, and to render assistance to the United Nations in carrying out the responsibilities entrusted to it by the Charter regarding the implementation of this right.

Action on Resolutions under Agenda Item 9 on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.1) on combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief, adopted without a vote, the Council called upon all States to take effective measures to ensure that public functionaries do not discriminate against individuals on the basis of religion or belief.  The Council requested the High Commissioner to prepare and submit to the Human Rights Council at its forty-sixth session a comprehensive follow-up report with elaborated conclusions.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.15) on the mandate of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to renew the mandate of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action for a further period of three years and requests the Chair of the Intergovernmental Working Group to submit an annual report on its sessions to the Human Rights Council.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.16) on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance for a further period of three years and requests the Special Rapporteur to participate in relevant international dialogues and policy forums, and to undertake thematic research.  The Council further requests the Special Rapporteur to contribute to the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

Action on Resolutions under Agenda Item 10 on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.7) on cooperation with Georgia, adopted by a vote of 20 in favour, 2 against and 24 abstentions, the Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to provide technical assistance through her office in Tbilisi.  The Council strongly calls for immediate and unimpeded access to be given to human rights mechanisms to Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia and requests the High Commissioner to present to the Human Rights Council an oral update on the follow-up to the present resolution at its forty-fourth session, and to present a written report on developments at its forty-fifth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.13) on technical assistance and capacity-building for Mali in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali for a period of one year.  The Council further requests the Independent Expert to submit a report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-sixth session and decides to hold a dialogue at its forty-sixth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/43/L.40) on technical assistance and capacity-building to improve human rights in Libya, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the High Commissioner to establish and dispatch a fact-finding mission to Libya, further requesting the mission to present an oral update on its work and findings to the Human Rights Council at its forty-fifth session during an interactive dialogue, and to present to the Council, during an interactive dialogue at its forty-sixth session, a comprehensive written report on the situation of human rights in Libya and recommendations for follow-up.

Special Procedure Mandate Holders Appointments

The Council appointed 19 Special Procedure mandate holders. 

As members of the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development, the Council appointed Bonny Ibhawoh (Nigeria) from African States, Mihir Kanade (India) from Asia-Pacific States, Klentiana Mahmutaj (Albania) from Eastern European States, Armando Antonio de Negri Filho (Brazil) from Latin American and Caribbean States, Koen De Feyter (Belgium) from Western European and other States.

The Council appointed to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Laila Susanne Vars (Norway) as member from the Arctic and Binota Moy Dhamai (Bangladesh) as member from Asia.

Yuefen Li of China was appointed as the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights, Claudia Mahler of Austria was appointed as the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons and Isha Dyfan of Sierra Leone was appointed as the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia.

The Council further appointed Balakrishnan Rajagopal of the United States of America as the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context; Tomoya Obokata of Japan as the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and its consequences; Olivier de Schutter of Belgium as the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights; and Alena Douhan of Belarus as the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.

In addition, Michael Fakhri of Lebanon was appointed as the Special Rapporteur on the right to food; José Francisco Calí Tzay of Guatemala as the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples; Mama Fatima Singhateh of the Gambia as the Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and other child sexual abuse material; Mary Lawlor of Ireland as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Thomas H.  Andrews of the United States as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. 

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For use of the information media; not an official record

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