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Human Rights Council Appoints for One Year a Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan

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7 October 2021

7 October 2021

Council Adopts Five Other Texts

The Human Rights Council this afternoon decided to appoint, for a period of one year, a Special Rapporteur to monitor the situation of human rights as it develops in Afghanistan, with a mandate to, inter alia, seek, receive, examine and act on information from all relevant stakeholders pertaining to the situation of human rights in Afghanistan.

The resolution was adopted by a vote of 28 in favour, 5 against and 14 abstentions. 

The Council adopted five other texts on the report of the Advisory Committee, equal participation in political and public affairs, human rights of older persons, right to privacy in the digital age, and the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination.

The Council rejected a resolution on the situation of human rights in Yemen by a vote of 18 in favour, 21 against and 7 abstentions.

Introducing the texts were Nazhat Shameem Khan, President of the Human Rights Council, and Netherlands, Slovenia on behalf of the European Union, Czech Republic, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Germany and Cuba.

Speaking in explanations before or after the vote or in general comments were: Austria, Germany, Yemen, Bahrain, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, United Kingdom, China, Denmark, Japan, Russian Federation, Afghanistan, Namibia, Pakistan, Argentina, Venezuela, Russian Federation, Indonesia, Netherlands, Bolivia, Sudan, Republic of Korea, Armenia, United Kingdom and India. 

The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here.  All meeting summaries can be found here.  Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council’s forty-eighth regular session can be found here.

The Council will resume its work at 9 a.m. on Friday, 8 October to continue to take action on draft texts.

Action on Statement by the President under the Agenda Item on Organizational and Procedural Matters

In a Statement by the President (A/HRC/48/L.28) on the Reports of the Advisory Committee, adopted without a vote, the Council, recalling its resolutions 5/1 of 18 June 2007 and 16/21 of 25 March 2011, in particular section III of the annexes thereto, including on the functions of the Advisory Committee, takes note of the reports of the Advisory Committee on its twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth sessions, and notes that the Advisory Committee has made four research proposals.

Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on the Annual Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

Draft resolution (A/HRC/48/L.11) on the Situation of human rights in Yemen was rejected by a vote of 18 in favour, 21 against and 7 abstentions.

In a resolution (A/HRC/48/L.24/Rev.1) on the Situation of human rights in Afghanistan, adopted by a vote of 28 in favour, 5 against and 14 abstentions as orally revised, the Council decides to appoint, for a period of one year, a Special Rapporteur to monitor the situation of human rights as it develops in Afghanistan, with a mandate to, inter alia, seek, receive, examine and act on information from all relevant stakeholders pertaining to the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, and present a written report to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-first session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-seventh session, in accordance with their respective programmes of work.  The Council further encourages the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to update the Human Rights Council on an intersessional basis, as deemed necessary, and in any case before the end of 2021, and requests the High Commissioner to present to the Human Rights Council, at its fiftieth session, an oral update on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, to be followed by an interactive dialogue.

Before the Council adopted the resolution, it voted on and rejected amendments L.44-48.

The results of the vote were as follows:

In favour (28): Argentina, Austria, Armenia, Bahamas, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cote d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sudan, Togo, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Uruguay.

Against (5): China, Eritrea, Pakistan, Russian Federation and Venezuela.

Abstentions (14): Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cuba, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Nepal, Senegal, Somalia and Uzbekistan.

Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Right to Development

In a resolution (A/HRC/48/L.4/Rev.1) on the Equal participation in political and public affairs, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize, prior to the fifty-fourth session of the Human Rights Council, a one-day intersessional workshop to discuss challenges, good practices and experiences in implementing the right to participate in public affairs, notably in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the post-pandemic recovery, including the role of participation in securing public health; and to prepare a summary report on the workshop, including any recommendations stemming therefrom, with a view to ensuring better recovery, and to submit it to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-fourth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/48/L.5/Rev.1) on the Human rights of older persons, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on normative standards and obligations under international law in relation to the promotion and protection of the human rights of older persons, and to submit the report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-ninth session, and to make the report available in accessible formats, including Plain Language and Easy-to-Read.  The Council further requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to convene a multi-stakeholder meeting, fully accessible to persons with disabilities, with the participation of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, human rights experts and expert representatives of Member States, the treaty bodies and the special procedures, regional mechanisms, the United Nations system, academia, national human rights institutions and civil society, including with the meaningful and effective participation of older persons and of persons of different ages, to discuss the report, and to prepare a summary with conclusions of the meeting that includes recommendations on addressing possible gaps and the dispersiveness of international human rights law with regard to older persons, and to submit the report to the Human Rights Council by its fifty-first session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/48/L.9/Rev.1) on the Right to privacy in the digital age, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a written report identifying recent trends and challenges with regard to the human right to privacy, including those addressed in the present resolution, to identify and clarify related human rights principles, safeguards and best practices, and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-first session, to be followed by an interactive dialogue.  The Council further requests the Office of the High Commissioner, when preparing the above-mentioned report, to seek input from and to take into account the work already done by relevant stakeholders from diverse geographical regions, including States, international and regional organizations, the special procedures of the Human Rights Council, the treaty bodies, other relevant United Nations offices, agencies, funds and programmes, within their respective mandates, national human rights institutions, civil society, the private sector, the technical community and academic institutions.

In a resolution (A/HRC/48/L.12) on the Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, adopted by a vote of 29 in favour, 14 against and 4 abstentions, the Council welcomes the cooperation extended by those countries that were visited by the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, and the adoption by some States of national legislation that restricts the recruitment, assembly, financing, training and transit of mercenaries.  The Council further requests the Working Group and other experts to broaden their active participation, including by submitting contributions, in other subsidiary bodies of the Human Rights Council considering issues related to the use of mercenaries and mercenary-related activities in all their forms and manifestations, including private military and security companies, and requests the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide the Working Group with all the assistance and support necessary for the fulfilment of its mandate, both professional and financial, including by promoting cooperation between the Working Group and other components of the United Nations system that deal with countering mercenary-related activities, in order to meet the demands of its current and future activities.

The results of the vote were as follows:

In favour (29): Argentina, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Eritrea, Fiji, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Libya, Malawi, Mauritania, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

Against (14): Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Korea, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

Abstentions (4): Brazil, Mexico, Somalia and Togo.

Link: https://www.ungeneva.org/en/news-media/meeting-summary/2021/10/le-conseil-des-droits-de-lhomme-decide-de-nommer-un-rapporteur


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