Header image for news printout

Human Rights Council adopts nine texts, creates mandate on unilateral coercive measures

Human Rights Council
MORNING

26 September 2014  

Council Renews Mandates on the Central African Republic, Sudan, Hazardous Substances and Wastes, and People of African Descent
 
The Human Rights Council this morning adopted nine texts in which it created the mandate of a Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, and extended the mandates of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, and the Independent Experts on the human right situations in the Central African Republic and in Sudan.
 
Other texts adopted today related to intensifying global efforts and sharing good practices to effectively eliminate female genital mutilation, equal participation in political and public affairs, national policies and human rights, and technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
 
On unilateral coercive measures and human rights, the Council decided to appoint, for a period of three years, a Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, and to organize a biannual human rights mainstreaming panel discussion on the issue of unilateral coercive measures and human rights.  It also reiterated its request to the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee to prepare a research-based report to assess the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights and to promote accountability.
 
The Council decided to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic for one year and decided to convene an interactive dialogue at its twenty-ninth session to assess the evolution of the situation of human rights on the ground.  The Council also decided to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan for one year.
 
Concerning hazardous wastes, the Council decided to extend for three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes.  It also extended the mandate of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent for a further period of three years. 
 
In a resolution on intensifying global efforts and sharing good practices to effectively eliminate female genital mutilation, the Council requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare, in consultation with States and other relevant stakeholders, a compilation of good practices and major challenges in preventing and eliminating female genital mutilation.  
 
The Office of the High Commissioner was requested to prepare a study on best practices and challenges and ways to overcome them with regard to the promotion, protection and implementation of the right to participate in public affairs and to present it to the Council at its thirtieth session. 
In a resolution on national policies and human rights, the Council decided to convene, at its twenty-eighth session, a panel discussion on the issue of national policies and human rights.
 
The Council also requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to commission a study on the impact of technical assistance and capacity building on the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to present it to the Council in the framework of an interactive dialogue.
 
Introducing texts were Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, United States, Switzerland, Peru, Ethiopia on behalf of the African Group, Burkina Faso, Czech Republic, South Africa, Ecuador, Ethiopia, and Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
Pakistan, Venezuela, United States, Japan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Italy on behalf of the European Union, Algeria, Romania, Italy on behalf of the European Union, and Russia  spoke in general comments.
 
Italy on behalf of the European Union, United States, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, spoke in explanations of the vote before the vote.
 
Central African Republic and Sudan spoke as concerned countries. 
 
The Human Rights Council will resume its meeting this afternoon at 1.30 p.m., to continue to take action on draft decisions and resolutions.  It will then elect members of the Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee and appoint Special Procedure mandate holders.  Later this afternoon, the Council will adopt the report of the session and conclude its twenty-seventh regular session. 
 
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
 
Action on Resolution on Human Rights and Unilateral Coercive Measures
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/27/L.2) on human rights and unilateral coercive measures, adopted as orally revised by a vote of 31 in favour, 14 against and 2 abstentions, the Council calls upon all States to stop adopting, maintaining or implementing unilateral coercive measures not in accordance with international law, international humanitarian law, the Charter of the United Nations and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations among States; condemns the continued unilateral application and enforcement by certain powers of such measures as tools of political or economic pressure against any country; decides to organize a biannual human rights mainstreaming panel discussion on the issue of unilateral coercive measures and human rights; reiterates its request to the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee to prepare a research-based report to assess the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights and to promote accountability; decides to appoint, for a period of three years, a Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights; and requests the Special Rapporteur to submit each year to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly a report on the activities relating to his or her mandate.
 
The result of the vote was as follows:
 
In favour (31): Algeria, Argentina, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Viet Nam.
 
Against (14): Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Republic of Korea, Romania, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom, and United States of America.  
 
Abstentions (2):Costa Rica, and Kazakhstan.
 
 
Before the Council voted on the resolution, it voted on two amendments to it. The Council rejected draft amendment L.33 by a vote of 15 for, 30 against and two abstentions.  It also rejected draft amendment L.44 by a vote of 15 for, 30 against and two abstentions.
 
Iran, speaking on behalf of non-aligned countries, and as one of the sponsors of the draft resolution L.2 on human rights and unilateral coercive measures, stressed that no State should use political and economic measures to secure advantages of any kind.  Such actions constituted one of the major barriers to the right of development.  The resolution called for a research-based report on the negative impact of coercive measures on human rights and asked that it be submitted to the Council for consideration in June 2015.  It also established a special procedure on that subject matter. 
 
United States, introducing draft amendment L.33 to draft resolution L.2 on human rights and unilateral coercive measures, said that this amendment would withdraw the language establishing a Special Rapporteur, which would divert needed resources of the Council.  The United States had been opposing this resolution for years.  The issue of sanctions was already being discussed in other United Nations bodies in New York.  The process for the negotiations on this resolution had not been transparent, and efforts to reach compromise had been dismissed.  In addition, the United States was concerned that the resolution established the Special Rapporteur for three years rather than one as it was usually the case.
 
Cuba said that countries proposing amendments to this resolution were the same countries imposing unilateral coercive measures.  These countries simply did not want their actions to be monitored and tried to politicize the debate.  They used financial resources as an excuse, and for all these reasons Cuba would demand a recorded vote on draft amendments L.33 and L.44 and encouraged all States to vote against them. 
 
Switzerland, introducing draft amendment L.44 to draft resolution L.2 on human rights and unilateral coercive measures on behalf of a group of States, said that it was concerned about the high number of mechanisms established by draft resolution L.2.  Amendment L.44 was drafted in a spirit of compromise, and reduced the number of panels to just one.  It called on all Member States of the Council to vote in favour of this amendment.
 
Pakistan, in a general comment, said that unilateral coercive measures, particularly those in the form of economic sanctions, had adverse effect of populations, and were neither justified nor productive.  It was thus essential to appoint a Special Rapporteur to  deal with and assess the issue.  Pakistan would therefore support the draft resolution and oppose any amendments to it.
 
Venezuela, in a general comment and as representative of the troika of the non-aligned countries, pledged full support for the draft resolution without any amendments.  They supported the creation of a Special Rapporteur, and urged for multilateral international cooperation rather than unilateral actions by certain States.  They called for a vote on amendment L.44, and would vote against amendment L.33.
 
United States, speaking in a general comment, said amendment L.44 removed the biannual panel in the favour of having one discussion on the topic only, which would allow the Council to not waste its time and to not have to reduce its time debating other important issues. 
 
Japan, speaking in a general comment, had strong doubts whether this Council was the appropriate body to discuss the issue of sanctions.  The establishment of a new Special Rapporteur was of concern.  Japan would not support this resolution and called on the Members of the Council to vote in favour of amendments L.33 and L.44. 
 
Cuba, speaking in a general comment, said that several resolutions of the Council and the General Assembly had ruled that coercive measures were a violation of international law and undermined human rights, including the right to life and the right to development, and principles of sovereignty of States.  Cuba was itself a victim of such sanctions, namely the embargo imposed by the United States, and called on all countries to reject amendments L.33 and L.44. 
 
Italy, in an explanation of the vote before the vote on draft resolution L.2 on behalf of the European Union, said draft resolution L.2 contained new elements compared to last year’s version, and was concerned about the convening of an annual mainstreaming panel and the creation of a Special Rapporteur.  The European Union repeated that targeted measures had to respect international law and human rights.  Bearing in mind the nature and content of this resolution, the European Union considered that this Council was not the appropriate body to discuss this subject.  The European Union that were Members of the Council would call for a vote and vote against it. 
 
United States in explanation of the vote before the vote, said it would vote against draft resolution L.2 because it was politicised and distracted the Council from its important tasks.  The Special Rapporteur would divert attention and resources from other items.  The usual consultation procedure had not been respected in that regard.
 
Action on Resolution on Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/27/L.12) on intensifying global efforts and sharing good practices to effectively eliminate female genital mutilation, adopted without a vote, the Council urges States to place special emphasis on education, in particular of youth, parents and community leaders, about the harmful effects of female genital mutilation, and especially to encourage men and boys to become more involved in information and awareness campaigns and become agents of change; calls on States to continue to increase technical and financial assistance for the effective implementation of policies, programmes and action plans to eliminate female genital mutilation at the national, regional and international levels; calls for an end to the medicalization of female genital mutilation; urges the international community to keep the issue of the elimination of female genital mutilation on the agenda of development policies, within the framework of the process of developing the post-2015 development agenda; and requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare, in consultation with States and other relevant stakeholders, a compilation of good practices and major challenges in preventing and eliminating female genital mutilation, and to submit it to the twenty-ninth session of the Human Rights Council. 
 
Ethiopia, introducing draft resolution L.12 on intensifying global efforts and sharing good practices to effectively eliminate female genital mutilation, said the text requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on good practices and major challenges, in consultation with States, United Nations agencies and bodies, civil society and other relevant stakeholders.  The text also urged States to work for a better implementation and dissemination of their international obligations regarding the elimination of female genital mutilation.  It also stressed the need to establish a synergy between the activities of international, regional and local organizations. 
 
Burkina Faso, also introducing draft resolution L.12, said female genital mutilation constituted a serious threat to the physical and mental integrity of women.  The entire international community had to stand united to combat female genital mutilation.  This was not an issue for women alone, and this could not be justified by cultural relativism. 
 
Action on Resolution on Mandate of Special Rapporteur on Hazardous Substances and Wastes
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/27/L.13) on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a period of three years; requests the new Special Rapporteur, within the mandate, to provide detailed and updated information on the adverse effects that the management and the illegal disposal of hazardous products and wastes can have on the full enjoyment of human rights; urges the Special Rapporteur to produce in consultation with relevant stakeholders a best-practice guide on human rights obligations related to the management and environmentally sound disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, and to submit a report to the Council at its thirty-sixth session; reiterates its call upon States and other stakeholders to facilitate the work of the Special Rapporteur by providing information upon request and inviting him to visit their countries; and decides to continue its consideration of the matter under the same agenda item, according to its work program.
 
Ethiopia, introducing draft resolution L.13 on behalf of the African Group, said that it intended to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes for a further period of three years, and urged the Special Rapporteur to develop a guide of best practices in this regard.  The text also urged the Special Rapporteur to continue to provide Governments with an opportunity to respond to allegations transmitted to the mandate and have their observations reflected in the reports submitted to the Human Rights Council.
 
Côte d’Ivoire, also introducing draft resolution L.13, spoke in favour of better coverage of the issues covered by the mandate and expected the Special Rapporteur to give greater visibility to those issues by activities such as development of the guide of best practices for environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes.
 
United States, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it recognized the negative effect that hazardous waste could have on human rights.  The United States however disengaged from the consensus because it believed this mandate was unnecessary and overlapped with competences of experts of other United Nations bodies.  The cost this resolution imposed needed careful scrutiny.  The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should review the cost associated with this mandate and incorporate it into its next budget request. 
 
Action on Resolution on Equal Participation in Political and Public Affairs
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/27/L.29/Rev.1) on equal participation in political and public affairs, adopted without a vote, the Council expresses concern that, despite progress made towards the full implementation of the right to participate in public affairs worldwide, many people continue to face obstacles, including discrimination, in the enjoyment of their right to participate in the public affairs of their countries as well as in the enjoyment of other human rights that enable it; and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a study on best practices, experiences and challenges and ways to overcome them with regard to the promotion, protection and implementation of the right to participate in public affairs in the context of the existing human rights law and to present it to the Council at its thirtieth session.
 
Czech Republic, introducing draft resolution L.29/Rev.1 on behalf of the cross-regional group, said that equal participation in public and political affairs was a cornerstone of democracy and fundamental freedoms.  Ensuring it was the best means to fight discrimination, social exclusion and marginalization and a key tool to prevent human rights violations and abuses.  The text was based on international legal standards on political and public participation, urged States to ensure full and equal participation of all citizens though action-oriented recommendations, and envisaged the preparation of a multi-stakeholder study which would contribute to better understanding of what equal participation in public and political affairs meant in practice.
 
Saudi Arabia, speaking in a general comment, noted the absence of draft documents in Arabic and said that the rules of procedure of other bodies and the General Assembly were very clear in this regard and they stated explicitly that all resolutions must be available in all six official languages of the United Nations.
 
United Arab Emirates, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote on behalf of the Gulf countries, said that the United Nations Charter referred to the sovereignty of all Member States and prohibited any intervention in domestic affairs.  Draft resolution L.29/Rev.1 did not respect these principles and the respect for culture differences. 
 
South Africa, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said equal participation was an ideal which all countries strived for.  South Africa would however dissociate itself from paragraph 6 requesting a new study by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 
 
Saudi Arabia, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it did not support paragraphs 5h and 5i of the draft text, which contradicted the principles of sovereignty and non-interference into States’ domestic affairs.  Saudi Arabia laws guaranteed freedom of expression and assembly. 
 
Action on Resolution under the Agenda Item on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Forms of Intolerance, Follow-up to and Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
 
Action on Resolution on the Mandate of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/27/L.10/Rev.1) on the mandate of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent for a further period of three years, in accordance with the terms of reference contained in Human Rights Council resolution 9/14; also decides that the Working Group shall undertake a minimum of two country visits per year; requests all Governments to cooperate fully with the Working Group in the discharge of its mandate; requests the Working Group to submit an annual report to the Human Rights Council on all activities relating to its mandate, as well as to the General Assembly in the context of the International Decade for People of African Descent; requests the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide the Working Group with all the human, technical and financial assistance necessary for the sustainable and effective fulfilment of its mandate; and decides to remain seized with this important issue.
 
South Africa, introducing draft resolution L.10/Rev.1, said it proposed the extension of the mandate of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and urged the Working Group to continue to assist States to ensure the substantive equality of people of African descent who continued to experience cascading consequences of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, including poverty, exclusion and marginalization.  The text supported the launch of the International Decade on People of African Descent and expressed a wish that it be launched on 10 December to coincide with the International Day of Human Rights.
 
Italy, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, said the European Union remained deeply committed to combatting racism and xenophobia and had engaged constructively to ensure the success of the Decade on People of African Descent.  The European Union fully acknowledged the role of the Working Group to ensure the implementation of the Decade.  With this in mind, the European Union was not convinced that the Working Group should submit a new report to the General Assembly and demanded that non-consensual language of this resolution be deleted.  The European Union would nonetheless join the consensus on the renewal of the mandate of the Working Group. 
 
Venezuela, in a general comment, expressed its support for this draft resolution, and underlined the need to tackle all forms of racism and xenophobia and the importance of the Council’s mechanisms working on this issue.  Venezuela called on all the Council’s members to support this resolution. 
 
United States, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the United States remained fully committed to combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance and that, because of its well-known issues with the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, and the costs associated with the duplicative plans for the marking of the International Decade, the United States had to disassociate itself from this resolution.  The United States urged the Human Rights Council to carefully consider the financial implications of this resolution.
 
Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building
 
Action on Resolution on National Policies and Human Rights
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/27/L.21) on national policies and human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council recommends that States integrate into their national policies a human rights perspective aimed at the promotion, protection and full realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms; decides to convene, at its twenty-eighth session, a panel discussion on the issue of national policies and human rights, with a particular focus on the findings of the report, identifying challenges, further developments and good practices in mainstreaming human rights in national policies and programmes; requests the High Commissioner to prepare a summary report on the discussions of the panel, and to present it to the Human Rights Council before its thirtieth session; and decides to remain seized of this issue.
 
Peru, introducing draft resolution L.21, said the draft resolution called for the convening of a panel of experts through which it sought to provide space to analyze the topic of the inclusion of human rights in national policies and identify challenges and good practices which could contribute to this process. 
 
Ecuador, also introducing draft resolution L.21, said that public policies must provide for the alignment with the international human rights obligations of States.  Ecuador urged States to share their good practices during the panel discussion as called for by the text.
 
Algeria, in a general comment on draft resolution L.21, said that the draft resolution was the result of open and comprehensive consultations, and that Algeria supported the resolution and the convening of a panel discussion on national policies and human rights.
 
Romania, in a general comment, said it was one of the co-sponsors of draft resolution L.21, and believed that the issue was crucial for all States, adding that it hoped next year’s debate would result in a useful and relevant discussion. 
 
South Africa, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it supported the protection  of human rights for all peoples.   However, the use of the term of “human rights approach” was undefined and open to all kinds of interpretation.  For that reason South Africa could not join consensus on the resolution regarding the “human rights approach”.
 
Action on Resolution on Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building in the Field of Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/27/L.32) on technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, adopted without a vote, the Council encourages the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to redouble its efforts to put an end to impunity, mainly for perpetrators of sexual violence and all human rights violations, to bring perpetrators to justice and ensure compensation for victims; encourages the Government to ensure that the national disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process take into account the special needs of children affected by armed conflict; encourages the Government to ensure journalists and human rights defenders had appropriate protection in the exercise of their activities; encourages States parties to the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement to continue to implement their obligations and work for the return of peace and security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region; calls upon the international community to support the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to increase and strengthen its technical assistance programmes and activities to improve the human rights situation in the country and invites the High Commissioner to report to the Council at its thirtieth regular session; and requests the High Commissioner to commission a study on the impact of technical assistance and capacity building on the human rights situation  in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to present it in the framework of an interactive dialogue at its thirtieth regular session. 
 
Ethiopia, introducing draft resolution L.32 on behalf of the African Group, said that the African Group was encouraged by the progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and measures taken to combat sexual violence and child recruitment, security service programmes, disarmament activities and judicial reform.  The text called on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to increase its technical assistance programme to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and commended the adoption of the resolution by consensus.
 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, also introducing draft resolution L.32, said that the draft resolution took into account the progress achieved in the promotion and protection of human rights and focused on several key issues of action, namely continuing the efforts to strengthen peace and security, maintaining the fight against impunity, particularly for perpetrators of sexual violence and continuing the reform of the security sector.  The Democratic Republic of the Congo attached particular importance to each of those priority lines of action which were already on its agenda as they were essential areas of action to improve the human rights situation.
 
Italy,  in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, said that it continued to be concerned by the human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  An oversight mechanism was the best mechanism to support the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to address sexual violence, impunity, as well as to secure credible electoral process in the country.  The European Union wanted to see clearer reference in the draft resolution L.32 regarding extrajudicial executions and illegal detentions.  The European Union supported the resolution. 
 
Action on Resolution on Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building to the Central African Republic
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/27/L.31) on technical assistance and capacity-building to the Central African Republic in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council strongly condemns and demands an immediate end to the widespread and persistent human rights abuses committed by all actors, and stresses that those responsible must be held accountable and brought to justice; urges all parties in the Central African Republic to protect all civilians, especially women and children, against sexual and gender-based violence; calls on all parties to respect the terms of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of July 23 2014 as an important step in resolving the crisis; remains greatly concerned about the conditions of displaced persons and refugees and encourages the international community to support national authorities and the host countries to provide appropriate protection and assistance for victims of violence, especially women, children and people with disabilities; decides to renew for one year the mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic; requests the Independent Expert to work closely with all United Nations bodies, the African Union and other international organizations as well as civil society and all relevant human rights mechanisms; requests the Independent Expert to give an oral update to the twenty-eighth session and to submit a written report to the thirtieth session; decides to convene an interactive dialogue at its twenty-ninth session, in presence of the Independent Expert, to assess the evolution of the situation of human rights on the ground; requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to provide the Independent Expert with all financial and human resources necessary to enable him to fully carry out his mandate. 
 
Ethiopia, introducing draft resolution L.31 on behalf of the African Group, was encouraged by the recent developments in the Central African Republic in peace building and in the promotion and protection of human rights.  The resolution extended the mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in this country for a further period of one year. 
 
Italy, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, welcomed this draft resolution which would ensure continuation of the follow up on this very worrying human rights situation.  Despite the reduction in violence, there was a growth in crime and a parallel justice system existed which contributed to the culture of impunity.  The European Union welcomed the robust mandate given to the Independent Expert which would enable her to prepare a relevant set of recommendations for technical assistance and capacity building in the Central African Republic and encouraged the authorities to continue fruitful cooperation with this mandate.
 
Russia, in a general comment, said that the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures had been presented in a shortened version.
 
Central African Republic, speaking as a concerned country, said that draft resolution L.31 showed the willingness of the country to cooperate with the Human Rights Council.  It asked the Council to adopt the draft resolution by consensus so that progress could be achieved in securing stability in the Central African Republic. 
 
Action on Resolution on Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building to Improve Human Rights in Sudan
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/27/L.30/Rev.1) on technical assistance and capacity-building to improve human rights in Sudan , adopted without a vote, the Council expresses serious concern at excessive use of force, including the lethal shooting of demonstrators in September 2013 and March 2014, and calls upon the Government of the Sudan to institute an independent public inquiry and to refer its findings to the judiciary within its legal system to ensure justice and accountability related to those incidents; expresses concern at reports of restrictions on the media; and condemns the violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law reported in the States of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile and by all parties, including sexual and gender-based violence, the indiscriminate bombings of humanitarian facilities, such as the reported aerial bombing of a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, and the targeting of civilians and humanitarian aid workers, and urges all parties to resort to peace.  The Council decides to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan for a period of one year under agenda item 10, to continue his/her engagement with the Government of the Sudan to assess, verify and report on the situation of human rights with the view to make recommendations on technical assistance and capacity-building for addressing human rights in the country.  The Council also requests the Independent Expert to present a report to the Human Rights Council for its consideration at its thirtieth session; calls upon the Government of the Sudan to continue its full cooperation with the Independent Expert and to continue to permit effective access to visit all areas of the country, and to meet with all relevant actors; and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to provide all necessary financial and human resources support to the Independent Expert in the implementation of his mandate.
 
Ethiopia, introducing draft resolution L.30/Rev.1 on behalf of the African Group, welcomed the cooperation of Sudan with the Independent Expert and was encouraged by the Presidential initiative to hold a comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue to achieve sustainable peace.  The African Group welcomed Sudan’s efforts in combating human trafficking and shared the view on the need to support the existing efforts with capacity building and technical assistance.  The draft resolution extended the mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Sudan for a period of one year.
 
Russian Federation, in a general comment, said that the reference in the draft resolution L.30/Rev.1 with regard to the conduct of a Special Procedure needed some clarification.  
 
Sudan, speaking as a concerned country, said that the resolution addressed all the challenges of the human rights situation in Sudan, and hoped that the resolution would be adopted by consensus.
 
Italy, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, said that the resolution was a step in the right direction and that it allowed for a more balanced approach. The European Union welcomed the readiness of Sudan to discuss its human rights challenges, and welcomed the renewal and strengthening of the mandate of the Independent Expert.  It regretted that investigations of torture were not taken on board.
 
United States, in a general comment, strongly urged Sudan to continue to work with the African Union and said that Sudan’s human rights record remained of the utmost concern.  The United States was concerned about aerial bombings in Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur and the human rights violations committed by the Government security forces, including extra-judicial killings, rape, and burning of civilian property.  The restriction on the delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations in need imposed by the Government was another issue of concern.  Sudan should increase its cooperation with the new mandate holder, including by granting him full access, particularly in areas where violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law were occurring.  The United States hoped that, should the human rights situation in Sudan not improve, the Human Rights Council would take appropriate action.
  ___________

For use of the information media; not an official record