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Human Rights Council adopts twelve texts, on protection of migrants in transit, unaccompanied migrant children, and others

Human Rights Council
MIDDAY

2 July 2015 

Hears Address by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Dominican Republic

The Human Rights Council this morning adopted 12 resolutions dealing with the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, in which it decided, among others, to convene at its thirty-first session a high-level panel discussion on the fiftieth anniversary of the International Covenants on Human Rights: universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights.  In other texts, the Council urged States to strengthen the protection of schools and universities from attacks, and to enact and uphold laws and policies aimed at preventing and ending child, early and forced marriage. There were also resolutions on the protection of the human rights of migrants in transit, and on unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents and human rights.

Other adopted resolutions pertained to human rights and international solidarity; the elimination of discrimination against women; the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members; the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, jurors and assessors, and the independence of lawyers; protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism; human rights and the regulation of civilian acquisition; possession and use of firearms; and the negative impact of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Council heard an address by Andrés Navarro García, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, who stated that since its Universal Periodic Review in 2014, the country had been immersed in the process of improvement of human rights in various areas, including the rights of women, children, persons with disabilities, the elderly, trafficked persons, as well as citizenship and other areas.  An ambitious plan to document migrants had been set up and a special law to supply documents to Dominicans of foreign origin who had experienced difficulties in receiving or renewing their documents had been adopted.

The Council decided to convene at its thirty-first session a high-level panel discussion on the topic, “The fiftieth anniversary of the International Covenants on Human Rights: universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights.”  It requested the Office of the High Commissioner to submit a study on the situation of migrants in transit, before its thirty-first session.  The Council requested the Advisory Committee to submit a report on practical suggestions for the wider dissemination and more effective implementation of the principles and guidelines in order to eliminate discrimination and the stigma associated with leprosy, and to develop a research-based study on the global issue of “Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adolescents and Human Rights” to be submitted to the Human Rights Council at the thirty-third session.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was requested to present a report on the different ways in which civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms have been effectively regulated at the thirty-second session of the Council, and a compilation of best practices of efforts to counter the negative impact of corruption on the enjoyment of all human rights developed by States, national human rights institutions, national anti-corruption authorities, civil society and academia.

In its resolution on human rights and international solidarity, adopted by a vote of 33 in favour, 14 against and no abstentions, the Council requested the Independent Expert to continue to participate in relevant international forums and major events with a view to promoting the importance of international solidarity. 

In the text on the elimination of discrimination against women, the Council called upon States to promote the equal and full access, participation and contribution of women and girls in all aspects of life, including in cultural and family life, and reject any discriminatory practice and gender stereotypes. 

The Council urged all States to strengthen the protection of schools and universities from attacks and to accelerate efforts to eliminate gender-based discrimination and all forms of violence in schools and other educational settings.  It also urged States to enact and uphold laws and policies aimed at preventing and ending child, early and forced marriage, to investigate, prosecute and punish violence against all children, and to tackle poverty and lack of economic opportunities for women and girls as drivers of child, early and forced marriage.

Further, the Council called upon all States to guarantee the independence of judges and lawyers and the objectivity and impartiality of prosecutors, as well as their ability to perform their functions and encouraged States to put in place legal and policy frameworks conducive to the development and reinforcement of a child-sensitive justice system.  With regard to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, the Council urged States to ensure that measures taken to counter terrorism were not discriminatory and did not resort to profiling based on stereotypes, and to ensure access to an effective remedy and respect the rights to be equal before the courts and to a fair trial. 

Introducing texts were Pakistan, Russia, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Japan, Hungary, Portugal, Sierra Leone, Italy, Peru, Ecuador, Morocco, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

Speaking in general comments were Saudi Arabia, Latvia on behalf of the European Union, United States, Russia, Japan, China, India, Viet Nam, South Africa, Portugal, Qatar, Bolivia, and Venezuela. United States, Mexico, Latvia on behalf of the European Union, and United Kingdom spoke in explanation of the vote before or after the vote.

The Human Rights Council will next meet at 3 p.m. this afternoon to continue taking actions on draft decisions and resolutions.


Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic

ANDRÉS NAVARRO GARCÍA, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, stated that since the adoption of the Dominican Republic’s Universal Periodic Review in 2014, the country had been immersed in the process of human rights improvement in various areas, such as the rights of women, children, persons with disabilities, the elderly, trafficked persons, as well as citizenship and other areas.  The Government was working on those changes in cooperation with local governments, civil society and international partners.  It continued to be committed to active participation in the United Nations mechanisms.  The Government of the Dominican Republic had set up an ambitious plan to document migrants, and had adopted a special law to supply documents to Dominicans of foreign origin who experienced difficulties in receiving or renewing their documents.  That group had seen their status reaffirmed as the Registry of Denationalization eliminated obstacles.   The same special law created an expedient path toward citizenship, in order to avoid placing individuals in question in a position of vulnerability.  Under the National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners, more than 280,000 persons had formalized their status.  As for the issue of deportation, the Government would continue to apply the Migration Law, which prescribed an individual approach towards the deportation of persons who did not have the necessary documentation.  It would ensure due process and the fundamental rights of all persons.  It could be said that in the past 18 months the Government had secured a victory for human rights with respect to regularization of the status of foreigners.     

Action on Resolution under the Annual Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General
 
Action on Resolution on the Human Rights Situation of Rohingya Muslims and Other Minorities in Myanmar

In response to a request by Pakistan, the Council postponed taking action on draft resolution L.30 to Friday morning.

Pakistan, introducing draft resolution L.30 on the human rights situation of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar, said the text highlighted human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Rakhine state, Myanmar.  Pakistan underlined the importance of dialogue, and said it had been in contact with the delegation of Myanmar throughout the drafting process.  Pakistan said human rights violations against Muslims were the result of discriminatory laws and practices, and included violations of their rights to life, to marry, to vote, and to citizenship.  The draft text required the High Commissioner to present an oral update to the Council at the thirtieth session of the Council. 

Saudi Arabia, in a general comment, said the humanitarian tragedy experienced by Muslims in Myanmar, including ethnic cleansing and forced evictions, required the international community to take action and not to be silent.

Latvia, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, expressed concerns about discrimination and widespread human rights violations against minorities and ethnic conflicts in Myanmar, particularly in Rakhine state.  It stressed the need to recognize that the question was more complex than a religious identity one, and did not affect one minority only.  The European Union was concerned about the deaths of migrants from Myanmar. 

United States, in a general comment, condemned human rights abuses and violations against all minorities in Myanmar, particularly against the Rohingya minority.  It urged all Governments to implement measures to protect the rights of migrants and prevent trafficking.  It urged the Government of Myanmar to adopt measures in order to improve the situation of ethnic minorities.

Russian Federation, in a general comment, took note of the plight of the Rohingya minority, adding that the current situation required monitoring.  However, it did not see how the submitted resolution could help the situation and was therefore forced to disassociate itself from the issue.

Japan, in a general comment, shared the concern of the international community about the situation of the Rohingya in Myanmar and the recent situation of migration in south-east Asia.  It expressed hope that Myanmar would continue to cooperate with the United Nations human rights mechanisms and other regional and international partners in order to improve the human rights situation, adding that the resolution text could have been more balanced.

China, in a general comment, said it was consistently opposed to forceful tabling of country-specific resolutions, and hoped that all parties would resolve their differences in a friendly manner.  China thus would not take part in the consensus.

India, in a general comment, voiced serious concerns about the draft resolution, which was divisive.  The Council should be a place of collaborative deliberation on human rights.  It noted the Government of Myanmar’s steps towards the issue under consideration.  The text of the resolution was highly prescriptive and thus India would not support it.

Viet Nam, in a general comment, said Myanmar had reached fruitful results in the protection of human rights, including of minorities.  Although challenges remained, these achievements were commendable and irreversible.  The only workable approach was genuine dialogue and cooperation in conformity with the United Nations Charter and the principles of international relations. 

Pakistan, in a general comment, requested that further action on this draft be postponed until Friday because the Permanent Representative of Myanmar was chairing a meeting on disarmament and could not be present in the room to respond. 

Action on the draft resolution L.30 was postponed to Friday, 3 July.

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 the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Adoption and the Fortieth Anniversary of the Entry into Force of the International Covenants on Human Rights

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.2) on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption and the fortieth anniversary of the entry into force of the International Covenants on Human Rights, adopted without a vote, the Council reaffirms the importance of the International Covenants on Human Rights as major components of international efforts to promote universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms; calls for the strictest compliance by States parties with their obligations under the International Covenants and, where applicable, the Optional Protocols thereto; and invites relevant United Nations organs and agencies to celebrate the anniversary of the International Covenants on Human Rights by intensifying their own contributions to the promotion and protection of all human rights.  The Council also decides to convene at its thirty-first session a high-level panel discussion on the topic, “The fiftieth anniversary of the International Covenants on Human Rights: universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights”.

Russian Federation, introducing draft resolution L.2 on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption and the fortieth anniversary of the entry into force of the International Covenants on Human Rights, underlined the importance of the two Covenants and their influence on legal systems worldwide.  The anniversary was an excellent opportunity to look back to assess the work and failings of the international human rights system.  It was also an opportunity to call for the universal ratification of these texts.  The Russian Federation said the resolution also demanded the organization of a high-level discussion on the universality of human rights at the thirty-first session of the Human Rights Council. 

Latvia, speaking on behalf of the European Union in an explanation of the vote before the vote, stated its strong commitment to the promotion and protection of all human rights, including the relevant international human rights covenants.  It called on all States to ratify those covenants as they provided an opportunity to affirm civil and political, as well as economic, social and cultural rights.  The high-level panel discussion would affirm the role of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in human rights protection.

United States, in explanation of the vote before the vote, joined consensus on the resolution providing that States did not have to implement obligations under the instruments to which they were not party.

Action on Resolution on the Protection of the Human Rights of Migrants: Migrants in Transit

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.3) on the protection of the human rights of migrants: migrants in transit, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council calls upon States that have not yet done so to consider signing and ratifying or acceding to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; reaffirms the duty of States to effectively promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, especially those of women and children, regardless of their immigration status; calls upon all States to ensure that their immigration policies are consistent with their obligations under international human rights law; requests the Office of the High Commissioner to submit to the Human Rights Council before its thirty-first session a study on the situation of migrants in transit. The Council also requests the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants to continue to report on practical solutions, including with respect to the situation of migrants in transit.

Mexico, introducing draft resolution L.3 on the protection of the human rights of migrants: migrants in transit, said migrants were a vulnerable group, and their human rights needs should be addressed.  The draft resolution sought to promote the human rights of all migrants, including migrants in transit.  It was not focused on any particular country and had a global approach.  With this text, the Council reaffirmed the commitment of States to protect migrants and combat human snuggling.  The negotiation process had been productive and inclusive. 

Latvia, speaking in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, appreciated efforts by Mexico and the Philippines in taking all views into account.  The European Union was committed to the rights of migrants everywhere, including in countries of origin and transit.  It was deeply concerned about the deaths of migrants at sea.  Joint actions and cooperation between all countries and with all stakeholders was needed.  The European Union underlined the right of migrants to return to their country of origin.  The European Union would join consensus on this text. 

The Council then adopted draft resolution L.3 without a vote. 

Action on Resolution on Human Rights and International Solidarity

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.6) on human rights and international solidarity, adopted by a vote of 33 in favour, 14 against and no abstentions, the Council reaffirms that international solidarity is not limited to international assistance and cooperation, aid, charity or humanitarian assistance; also reaffirms the fact that the promotion of international cooperation is a duty for States, that it should be implemented without any conditionality and on the basis of mutual respect; requests all States, United Nations agencies, other relevant international organizations and non-governmental organizations to mainstream the right of peoples and individuals to international solidarity into their activities; and requests the Independent Expert to continue to participate in relevant international forums and major events with a view to promoting the importance of international solidarity.  The Council also requests the Independent Expert to report regularly to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly in accordance with their respective programmes of work.

 
The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (33): Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan,  Paraguay, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.

Against (14): Albania, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Korea, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America.

Abstentions (0):


Cuba, introducing the resolution, said that cooperation and international solidarity were both essential instruments for the protection and promotion of human rights.  A minority among countries believed that international solidarity should not be discussed by the Council.  However, international solidarity was an important precondition for human dignity, and was an incentive for a genuine and respectful dialogue. 

Mexico, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, stated that it was premature for the recognition of international solidarity as a principle in human rights protection, as there was no meaningful discussion on the implications and scope of the resolution.  However, Mexico would vote in favour of the resolution.

Latvia, in an explanation of the vote before the vote on behalf of the European Union, noted that it attached the highest priority to international solidarity as a political and moral principle.  The European Union was an important contributor to development aid to third countries in order to eradicate poverty and foster development.  However, some serious conceptual doubts had to be dispelled, such as the doubt of whether international solidarity could be translated into the human rights area, and thus called for a vote on the resolution.

United States, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, reiterated its position that international solidarity was not part of the mandate of the Council, and diverted it from other issues.  The United States would vote against this resolution. 

The Council then adopted draft resolution L.6 with a vote of 33 in favour, 14 against and no abstentions.
 
Action on Resolution on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.7/Rev.1) on the elimination of discrimination against women, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States to promote the equal and full access, participation and contribution of women and girls in all aspects of life, including in cultural and family life, and reject any discriminatory practice and gender stereotypes; urges States to take all appropriate measures to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices; urges States to ensure that women have equal access to all economic, financial, fiscal and social services and benefits without discrimination; calls upon States to promote the rights of women and girls and to support their empowerment; stresses the need to make the formal legal system accessible to all women, regardless of any status; and urges States to recognize the important role that the media can play in the elimination of gender stereotypes and in the promotion of gender equality.

Colombia, introducing the resolution, welcomed international efforts in eliminating discrimination against women, noting that the twentieth anniversary of the Beijing Conference and the inclusion of the issue in the post-2015 development agenda testified to that.  However, promises in ensuring equality of women still had to be met. 

Mexico, in a general comment, explained that the resolution underscored the obligations of States to eliminate discrimination against women and ensure the participation of women on equal footing in the areas of family and cultural life.  Mexico appreciated the flexibility of all delegations that participated in the consultations. 

Latvia, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, welcomed all efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women.  The focus on private life was important in order to eliminate violence against women.  Gender based violence was unacceptable in any sphere of life, and the European Union called for full gender equality to be achieved.

South Africa, in a general comment, welcomed the introduction of the progressive resolution since many women continued to be marginalized and excluded from decision-making processes around the world, which prevented their contribution to economic and social life.  To end discrimination of women, South Africa had implemented a number of measures and laws.

Action on Resolution on the Elimination of Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy and their Family Members

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.10) on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the Advisory Committee, from within existing resources, to undertake a study which reviews the implementation of the principles and guidelines for the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members, together with the obstacles thereto, and to submit a report containing practical suggestions for the wider dissemination and more effective implementation of the principles and guidelines in order to eliminate discrimination and the stigma associated with leprosy.

Japan, introducing draft resolution L.10 on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members, said today’s medicine had made leprosy curable, but discrimination and misunderstandings persisted, and affected people faced serious human rights violations throughout the world.  The draft was a follow-up of previous resolutions unanimously adopted by the Council.  

The Council then adopted draft resolution L.10 without a vote. 
 
Action on Resolution on the Independence and Impartiality of the Judiciary, Jurors and Assessors, and the Independence of Lawyers

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.11) on the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, jurors and assessors, and the independence of lawyers, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon all States to guarantee the independence of judges and lawyers and the objectivity and impartiality of prosecutors, as well as their ability to perform their functions; encourages States to put in place legal and policy frameworks conducive to the development and reinforcement of a child-sensitive justice system; calls upon States, in collaboration with relevant national entities such as bar associations, associations of judges and prosecutors, and educational institutions, to provide adequate training for judges, prosecutors and lawyers; and calls upon Governments to give serious consideration to responding favourably to the requests of the Special Rapporteur to visit their country.

Hungary, introducing the resolution on behalf of a core group of countries, said it was based on the latest reports of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers on judicial accountability and on the protection of children’s rights in the justice system.  The text stressed the importance of judicial accountability and emphasized the need for a balanced representation of men and women in judiciary and gender sensitive procedures.

Mexico, introducing the resolution, said that the resolution called on States to take actions to promote diversity and a gender perspective within the judiciary, to put in place legal and policy frameworks conducive to the development and reinforcement of a child sensitive justice system, and to develop policies, procedures and programmes in the area of restorative justice, and for guidance for lawyers and judges.

United States, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said the interest of the child should not be the primary consideration, over the interests of the victims. 

The Council then adopted draft proposal L.11 without a vote. 

Action on Resolution on the Right to Education

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.14/Rev.1) on the right to education, adopted without a vote, the Council urges all States to give full effect to the right to education by, inter alia, complying with their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the right to education by all appropriate means, paying particular attention to girls, marginalized children and persons with disabilities; calls upon all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the post-2015 development agenda fosters the universal realization of the right to education, including by establishing education targets that are specific, measurable, realistic and relevant; urges all States to comply with their responsibility under international law to strengthen the protection of schools and universities from attacks; and calls upon States to accelerate efforts to eliminate gender-based discrimination and all forms of violence in schools and other educational settings, and to realize gender equality and the right to education for all.

Action on Amendment L.31

The Council rejected amendment L.31 by a vote of 9 in favour, 22 against and 16 abstentions.

Action on Preambular Paragraph 8 of the L.14/Rev.1
 
Russia, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it would vote in favour, but that did not mean that Russia recognized the outcome of the Conference in Oslo or its principles.

The Council decided to retain Preambular Paragraph 8 by a vote of 30 in favour, none against and 17 abstentions.

Portugal, introducing draft resolution L.14/Rev.1 on the right to education, said the draft called upon all stakeholders to strengthen their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goal relating to education, and encouraged the consideration of education in the post-2015 development agenda. 

Pakistan, introducing draft amendment L.31 to draft resolution L.14/Rev.1, said it rejected attempts to include controversial elements in the draft resolution, including reference to the Oslo Conference.  Any one-sided, non-authentic and unilateral characterization of armed conflicts without the involvement of nation-states was inacceptable, and for this reason, Pakistan was proposing a substitution of preambular para 8 with a new paragraph.  If the amendment was rejected, Pakistan would call for a vote on preambular paragraph 8. 

Portugal, in a general comment on the proposed amendment, said that the amendment introduced by China and Pakistan was not acceptable and thus requested a vote on the amendment.

Portugal, in a general comment, thanked all for their constructive comments and noted that the draft resolution reflected broad views.  Compromise should remain at the heart of the Council’s work and Portugal called on all States to vote against the proposed amendment.

Action on Resolution on Strengthening Efforts to Prevent and Eliminate Child, Early and Forced Marriage

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.15) on strengthening efforts to prevent and eliminate child, early and forced marriage, adopted without a vote, the Council urges States to enact, enforce, harmonise and uphold laws and policies aimed at preventing and ending child, early and forced marriage; calls upon States to exercise due diligence in investigating, prosecuting and punishing violence against all children; urges States to strengthen their efforts to ensure free birth registration, including free or low-fee late birth registration; urges Governments to promote and protect the human rights of all women and girls, including their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health; and also urges Governments, with the collaboration of relevant stakeholders, to tackle poverty and lack of economic opportunities for women and girls as drivers of child, early and forced marriage.

Sierra Leone, introducing the resolution on behalf of a core group of countries, noted that child, early and enforced marriage remained issues of major concern affecting many countries at a cross-regional level.  They had far reaching and long lasting impact on the human rights of girls and women, as well as on the communities in which they lived.  The resolution sought a more comprehensive analysis of the far reaching consequences of the practice on the enjoyment of human rights of women and girls.   It contained targets for the elimination of harmful practices, including female genital mutilation.

Italy, also introducing the resolution, underlined that Member States had the primary responsibility to continue to work together to address the negative impact of child, early and forced marriage on victims and on entire societies.  In doing so States would show their solidarity for promoting and protecting the rights of victims, especially women and girls, as well as their strong willingness to adopt measures at the national and international level to eliminate that harmful practice.

Qatar, in a general comment on behalf of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, joined consensus on this draft to express their attachment to women’s empowerment.  Countries of the region had adopted policies to advance women and combat discrimination and violence.  Qatar underlined the need to take into account national specificities and countries’ legislation. 

The Council then adopted draft resolution L.15 without a vote. 

Action on Resolution on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.17/Rev.1) on protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States to ensure that any measure taken to counter terrorism complies with international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law; urges States to ensure that measures taken to counter terrorism are not discriminatory, and not to resort to profiling based on stereotypes; calls upon States, while countering terrorism, to ensure that any person who alleges that his or her human rights or fundamental freedoms have been violated has access to an effective remedy; and urges States, while countering terrorism, to respect the rights to be equal before the courts and tribunals and to a fair trial.  The Council also requests the High Commissioner and the Special Rapporteur to present their reports, bearing in mind the content of the present resolution, to the Human Rights Council under agenda item 3, in conformity with its annual programme of work.

Mexico, introducing the resolution, noted that any action taken to counter terrorism should be fully in line with international human rights law.  The text underscored the importance of taking into account the issues of gender equality and non-discrimination when adopting, reviewing and implementing measures against terrorism.  It was necessary that States in their fight against terrorism revised legislative practices and were vigilant to ensure consistency with their international human rights obligations. 

United States, in a general comment, said it was essential to return to a consensus on how to address this important issue.  States had the primary responsibility to protect the population from genocide, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. 

Latvia, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, said it was essential that the Council returned to consensus on this issue, and said that efforts to combat terrorism had to be carried out in full respect of human rights and the rule of law.

The Council then adopted draft proposal L.17/Rev.1 without a vote.

Action on Resolution on Human Rights and the Regulation of Civilian Acquisition, Possession and Use of Firearms

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.18) on human rights and the regulation of civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms, adopted by a vote of 41 in favour, none against and 6 abstentions, the Council calls upon all States to do their utmost to take appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures, consistent with international human rights law and their constitutional frameworks, in order to ensure that civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms are effectively regulated with the aim of enhancing the protection of human rights, in particular the right to life and security of person, of all.  The Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to present to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-second session a report on the different ways in which civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms have been effectively regulated.
 
 
The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (41): Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Maldives, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan,  Paraguay, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.
Abstentions (6): France, Japan, Republic of Korea, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America.

Against (0):

Peru, introducing the resolution, noted that the draft resolution aimed to better protect the right to life and security of individuals, which was the most basic human right.  In order to contribute towards the reduction of victims every year, it called on States to take measures to regulate the use of fire arms by individuals.  Peru would contribute positively to the reduction of fire arms incidents.

Ecuador, introducing the resolution, noted that the easy access to fire arms was a major threat to the guarantee of human rights all over the world, especially to the right to life and security.  When arms were easily accessible, there was a greater risk of loss of life. Ecuador thus expressed hope that the draft resolution would contribute to the effective promotion and protection of human rights.

Latvia, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, said it attached great importance to addressing the risks of firearms.  It noted that the draft resolution requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to present to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-second session a report on the different ways in which civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms have been effectively regulated, and said any follow-up on this would not lead to a normative process on this issue at the Council.  The European Union noted the importance of including a gender perspective in debates on this issue, including on combatting gender violence. 

United States, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, was still grieving from recent tragedies in the country.  The United States was still in the process of finding solutions to this issue domestically.  The United States would call for a vote and abstain on this draft resolution.  Indeed, it was concerned that this text would be interpreted by some to an extent that went beyond the mandate of the Council, and did not regard domestic legislation called for in the text as resulting from any international human rights treaties.  It was the sovereign right of States to regulate firearms within their territory.  

Mexico, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, warned of the uncontrolled distribution of arms and the destabilizing effect it had on the right to life and security.  Mexico recalled that one of the most relevant tools, the Arms Trade Treaty, adopted in 2013, was a landmark in the process.  States had to abstain from arms trade which undermined human rights.  A reporting system could ensure that arms trade did not continue to bring about massive human rights abuses.

United Kingdom, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said there was a need to safeguard against terrorist use of weapons.  However, following recent terrorist attacks, the discussion would be better suited for the public security arena, and the United Kingdom would thus abstain on the resolution.

Action on Resolution on the Negative Impact of Corruption on the Enjoyment of Human Rights

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.19) on the negative impact of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council urges States that have not yet done so to consider ratifying or acceding to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, and calls upon States parties to the Convention to implement it; stresses that preventive measures are one of the most effective means of countering corruption and of avoiding its negative impact on the enjoyment of human rights; and encourages consideration of the need for cooperation between national anti-corruption authorities and national human rights institutions.  The Council also requests the High Commissioner to prepare a compilation of best practices of efforts to counter the negative impact of corruption on the enjoyment of all human rights developed by States, national human rights institutions, national anti-corruption authorities, civil society and academia.

Morocco, introducing the resolution on behalf of a core group of countries, noted that corruption affected all human rights: civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights.  Various political and financial scandals clearly had a cost in terms of human development.  The draft resolution encouraged the States which still had not signed the Convention against Corruption to do so, and encouraged human rights mechanisms of the Council to examine the negative effects of corruption on human rights.

Action on Resolution on Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adolescents and Human Rights

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.24) on unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents and human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon countries of origin, transit and destination to facilitate family reunification, in order to promote the welfare and the best interest of migrant children; encourages States to continue taking into account the principle of the best interest of the child, as a primary consideration; encourages States of origin, transit and destination to continue seeking greater cooperation and technical assistance with all relevant stakeholders; and requests the Advisory Committee to develop a research-based study on the global issue of “Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adolescents and Human Rights” to be submitted to the Human Rights Council at the thirty-third session for its consideration.  The Council requests the relevant Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council within their mandate, to maintain attention on unaccompanied migrant children, including adolescents.

El Salvador, introducing draft resolution L.24 on unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents and human rights, said migrant boys and girls were alarmingly vulnerable, and underlined the important of their best interest to be placed above all other concerns.  The text called for a comprehensive approach to this issue, and recalled States’ obligation to protect migrant children.  El Salvador hoped this draft resolution could be adopted by consensus. 

Bolivia, in a general comment, said it was committed to the protection of the rights of children, and expressed concerns about the vulnerability and risks migrant children faced.  It fully supported this important initiative.

Venezuela, in a general comment, said bringing this topic to the attention of the Council was essential, and welcomed that a study would be undertaken on the issue of unaccompanied migrant children by the Advisory Committee. 

The Council then adopted draft resolution L.24 without a vote. 

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