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Human Rights Council extends mandates on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and on extreme poverty and human rights

AFTERNOON
 
Adopts 10 Resolutions, including on the Role of the Family, Youth and Human Rights, Discrimination against Women and Girls, Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, and Human Rights and Climate Change, among others  
 
GENEVA (22 June 2017) - The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted 10 resolutions in which it extended the mandates on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and on extreme poverty and human rights.  Other texts concerned the role of the family; youth and human rights; child, early and forced marriage; human rights and migrants; the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; human rights and climate change; the contribution of development to the enjoyment of human rights; and the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl.  
 
The Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions for three years.  The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights was also renewed for three years.
 
In a resolution on the role of the family, and after voting down three amendments to the text, the Council decided to convene, before the thirty-eighth session of the Human Rights Council, a one-day intersessional seminar on the role of the family in supporting the protection and promotion of the human rights of older persons.
 
Concerning youth and human rights, the Council requested the High Commissioner to conduct a detailed study on the implementation of human rights with regard to young people, identification of cases of discrimination against young people in the exercise of their human rights, and best practices on the full and effective enjoyment of human rights by young people.
 
A resolution on child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian settings requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to create a web portal to bring together and collate information relating to child, early and forced marriage, including in humanitarian settings. 
 
On the protection of the human rights of migrants and the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, the Council requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report on the compendium of principles, good practices and policies on safe, orderly and regular migration. 
 
On the elimination of discrimination against women and girls, a resolution called on States to repeal all laws that exclusively or disproportionately criminalized actions or behaviours of women and girls, and laws that discriminated against them, based on any grounds, including any custom, tradition or cultural or religious consideration contrary to the obligation to eliminate discrimination against women and girls. 
 
In a resolution on climate change, the Council requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize an intersessional panel discussion, with the theme “Human rights, climate change, migrants and persons displaced across international borders”, among other actions. 
 
On the contribution of development to the enjoyment of human rights, the Council requested the Advisory Committee to conduct a study on the ways in which development contributed to the enjoyment of all human rights by all.
 
On realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl, the Council urged all States to strengthen and intensify their efforts to take deliberate, concrete and targeted steps to fully realize the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl, and to eliminate legal, administrative, financial, structural, social and cultural barriers that hindered girls’ equal enjoyment of the right to education.

Speaking in the introduction of draft texts were Egypt, Qatar, Belarus, Russian Federation, Malta on behalf of the European Union, Switzerland, El Salvador, Greece, Sweden, Netherlands on behalf of a group of countries, Sierra Leone, Mexico, Mexico also on behalf of Colombia, France on behalf of a transregional group of countries, Philippines, Bangladesh, China and United Arab Emirates.
 
Speaking in general comments were El Salvador on behalf of a group of countries, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Indonesia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, United States, Slovenia, Paraguay, Germany on behalf of the European Union, United Arab Emirates on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council, El Salvador, Brazil, South Africa, Belgium, Venezuela on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and Cuba.
 
Speaking in an explanation of the vote before or after the vote were: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Belgium, Bangladesh on behalf of the Core Group, United Kingdom, United States, Germany on behalf of European Union Member States which were members of the Human Rights Council, Albania, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, Switzerland, Bangladesh, Iraq and Tunisia.
 
The Council will next meet at 9 a.m. on Friday, 23 June to conclude taking action on decisions and resolutions before closing its regular thirty-fifth 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 the Protection of the Family: Role of the Family in Supporting the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights of Older Persons
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/35/L.21) on the protection of the family: role of the family in supporting the protection and promotion of human rights of older persons, adopted by a recorded vote of 30 in favour to 12 against with 5 abstentions, the Council urges States, in accordance with their respective obligations under international human rights law, to provide the family, as the natural and fundamental group unit of society, with effective protection, support and assistance; decides to convene, with the support of the High Commissioner, before the thirty-eighth session of the Human Rights Council, a one-day intersessional seminar on the impact of the implementation by States of their obligations under relevant provisions of international human rights law with regard to the protection of the family on the role of the family in supporting the protection and promotion of the human rights of older persons, and to discuss challenges and best practices in this regard; and requests the High Commissioner to present a report on the seminar, in the form of a summary, to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-ninth session.
 
The result of the vote was as follows:
 
In favour (30): Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
 
Against (12): Albania, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America.
 
Abstentions (5): Brazil, Georgia, Hungary, Panama, and Republic of Korea.
 
Egypt, introducing draft resolution L.21, said that the family was an undisputed cultural, moral and religious value that should be celebrated and nurtured.  The family was a natural and fundamental unit of the society.  States were required to protect that social institution.  The draft resolution focused on the rights of older persons, advancement of family members’ rights, and protection of older persons from all abuses in the family setting.  It kept the same provisions as the previous year: the status of the family under international law, and the role of the family in the protection of family members, especially older persons.  The current draft underscored that measures of protection were directly correlated and went hand in hand.  Protection of the family in no way undermined the protection of all other human rights.  The main sponsors could not accept the proposed amendments that would completely change the whole scope of the resolution.  The family was a unit composed of men, women and children.  The resolution represented an opportunity not to let down family members all over the world. 
 
Qatar, introducing draft resolution L.21, noted that the draft resolution addressed the most pertinent aspects related to the role that could be played by the family in supporting older persons to overcome those challenges.  While the family remained the first and the most immediate environment where older persons could develop their potential and enjoy a fulfilling life, the existence of older persons within a family was considered to be a strong driving force for the role played by the family in the preservation of cultural identity, traditions, morals, heritage, intergenerational solidarity and social development.  L.21 addressed that issue in synergy with States’ responsibility to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals, including older persons.  The sponsors had exerted all possible efforts to take on board different views expressed by delegates, and they would continue to be open, constructive and transparent in that respect.
 
Belarus, introducing draft resolution L.21, stressed that the family provided an important link between generations.   In an ageing world, the assistance and support of States to families were essential in order to avoid having older persons fall in poverty, which would prevent the implementation of goal 3 of the 2030 Agenda on good health and well-being.  The family was a key element in order to strengthen solidarity between generations.  It was thus important to protect it.
 
Russian Federation, introducing draft resolution L.21, highlighted that the specific nature of the family brought together all aspects of human life.  The family gave people life and everything needed by an individual.  It provided a link between generations.  The family was not just a community of spouses and relatives but also an element of the social structure.  Given the ongoing global processes, the institution of the family could not always adapt to the changes.  States had the responsibility to support families in this context.  The resolution highlighted the importance of the family.  It did not include a definition of the family since such a definition fell under the responsibility of States.  The aim of the text was to recognize the role of families to promote the rights of their members and to determine what support and assistance families could receive. 
 
Introduction of Amendments L.45, L.47, L.48 and L.49
 
Malta, introducing amendment L.45 on behalf of the European Union, said that in different cultural settings various forms of families existed.  The amendment did not deny the family and used language from UN-agreed documents.  Unfortunately, States were trying to withdraw from previously agreed terminology. 
 
Switzerland, introducing amendment L.47, L.48 and L.49, explained that it would like to replace “the role of the family” with “the role of families” in the text of the draft resolution.  Each family was different and there were no identical families.  It expressed hope that the proposed amendments would be adopted by the Council as their acceptance would not affect the meaning of the resolution.  As for the amendment L.49, it stressed the fact that older women were more exposed to physical and psychological violence.
General Comments on L.21
 
El Salvador, in a general comment on behalf of the main sponsors of L.21, stated that the core sponsors fully supported the international commitments made with respect to ageing.  Amendment L.49 focused on the risk factors faced by older women, and sponsors endorsed it.
 
Egypt, in a general comment on behalf of the main sponsors of L.21, stated that they were not in the position to accept amendments L.45, L.47 and L.48, whereas they welcomed L.49 as orally revised.
 
United Arab Emirates, in a general comment, stressed that the family was the core unit for the defence of all persons when they needed it the most.  The protection and promotion of families facilitated the protection of their members.  It was important to carry out more efforts in order to protect and promote all families and to renew the approach to families considering the specificities of all countries.
 
Côte d’Ivoire, in a general comment, highlighted that families played a crucial role in supporting older persons.  The protection of the family as an institution and its capacity to protect older people was the responsibility of States.  It was important to strengthen the cohesion of the family so that it might ensure the well-being of its members.
 
Kenya, in a general comment, said that the role of the family as a fundamental unit of the social orders was enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya.  Any attempt to alter the understanding of the family as it was defined by the Constitution would be rejected.  States should provide access to health facilities for families. 
 
Indonesia, in a general comment, welcomed draft resolution L.21, noting that Indonesia attached great importance to the protection of the family.  The draft resolution outlined measures and policies on the protection of older persons and the primary role of the family in the protection of older persons.  Indonesia recognized the valuable role that the family played in development.  It continued to ensure the high quality of older persons’ lives.
 
China, in a general comment, stated that the draft resolution L.21 highlighted the importance of the family for the protection of the human rights of older persons.  It was extremely important to accord the family its full role in development planning.   China voiced support for the draft resolution.
 
Kyrgyzstan, in a general comment, noted that the family was a natural and fundamental unit of the society.  It had the primary responsibility for nurturing children.  Equality of women and men was the essential element of the policy on the family.  The family was a strong force for social cohesion and played a crucial role in the prevention of cultural values.  Kyrgyzstan thus strongly and fully supported the draft resolution as submitted.
 
Nigeria, in a general comment, welcomed the focus of the draft resolution on the human rights of older persons.  States had a duty to protect the family as the fundamental unit of the society.  Nigeria rejected the divisive content of the proposed amendments, noting that they brought no added value.
 
Action on Amendments L.45, L.47, L.48
 
Action on Amendment L.45
 
Saudi Arabia, in an explanation of the vote before vote, said that the amendment defeated the purpose and balance of the resolution and added no value to it.  The focus of the resolution was on the role of the family in promoting and protecting the human rights of older persons and the challenges faced by them and by the family while supporting and caring for older persons.  Getting into a discussion regarding the definition of a family was irrelevant to the subject.  In addition, though the amendment looked innocent, its divisive significance justified its gradual disappearance from United Nations documents in the last decade. 
 
Qatar, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, stated that it would vote against the amendment and called upon all States to vote against it.
 
The Council then rejected amendment L.45, by a vote of 19 in favour, 22 against and five abstentions.
 
Action on Amendments L.47 and L.48
 
Belgium, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, voiced its support for the submitted amendments.  It was important to recognize in line with international standards that in different cultural, political and social contexts, different forms of families existed.  That diversity would be better reflected if those amendments were accepted.
 
Bangladesh, in an explanation of the vote before the vote on behalf of the Core Group, reminded that the group took a lot of time to grasp the meaning of the proposed amendments, which had no added value and were only meant to distort the draft resolution.  The reference to the family was the language used in major United Nations documents.  More than 100 national constitutions in the world used the term “family” as a legal term.  The usage of that term did not prevent countries from using their own interpretations of the “family.”  The main sponsors thus rejected the two amendments.
 
Saudi Arabia, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the main sponsors rejected the proposed amendments and called on all to vote against them. 
 
Qatar, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, stated that it could not accept the proposed amendments and called on all Member States to vote against them. 
 
The Council then rejected the amendments L.47 and L.48 by a vote of 17 in favour, 23 against and six abstentions.
 
Action on L.21
 
United Kingdom, in an explanation of the vote before vote, stressed that the family and family lives were important to all.  The United Kingdom regretted that amendments were rejected by many countries and was concerned that certain elements of the text suggested that the reference to the protection of the family could be used as a justification for human rights violations such as female genital mutilation.  It was not clear from what or whom families should be protected.  The United Kingdom urged the Council members to vote against the resolution.
 
United States, in an explanation of the vote before vote, said it was disappointed to vote against the resolution.  Although the emphasis put by the resolution on the protection of older persons was appreciated, it was also important to recognize that the role of the family had adapted over time.  All types of loving families should be taken into account, be it a family composed of a single mother or a same sex couple.  The resolution failed to provide sufficient protection to all types of families.
 
Germany, in an explanation of the vote before the vote on behalf of the European Union, shared the view that States should provide strong support for families.  Sadly, the importance of recognizing the existence of various forms of families was not recognized.  The European Union was concerned about the lack of attention in the resolution to address violence that could occur inside the family context, particularly against women and girls.
 
The Council then adopted resolution L.21 by a vote of 30 in favour, 12 against and five abstentions.
 
Action on Resolution L.22 on Youth and Human Rights
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/35/L.22) on youth and human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon all States to promote and ensure the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for youth, including… by taking measures to combat age discrimination, neglect, abuse and violence, and to address issues related to barriers to social integration and adequate participation.  The Council requests the High Commissioner… to conduct a detailed study on the implementation of human rights with regard to young people, identification of cases of discrimination against young people in the exercise of their human rights, and best practices on the full and effective enjoyment of human rights by young people, highlighting the contribution of empowered youth to the realization of human rights in society, to be submitted to the Council prior to its thirty-ninth session.
 
El Salvador, introducing draft resolution L.22, stated that young people possessed important experiences and opinions that were often not taken into account.  The draft resolution reiterated the need to implement strategies to fully integrate young people’s participation in society, namely the exercise of their citizen-hood.  It requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to carry out a detailed study, including on cases of discrimination against young people.  The study should be submitted before the thirty-ninth session of the Human Rights Council.
 
Greece, introducing draft resolution L.22, underlined that challenges faced by youth were multifaceted.  Young people should be a priority for the international community and the effective implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda remained particularly timely in that respect.  A fruitful panel discussion had taken place in September 2016 to identify best practices in the exercise of human rights by young people.   
 
Egypt, introducing draft resolution L.22, said that the demographic revolution of youth in the Global South was linked to opportunities and challenges, notably to the creation of an enabling environment for youth to enjoy their fundamental freedoms.  They should overcome all the barriers to their economic, social and cultural rights.  Egypt had proclaimed 2016 as the year of the youth, aimed at engaging young people in political and social life.  That was followed by moving the national youth conference to all other parts of Egypt.  The draft resolution was one of the most important examined by the Council.  Egypt therefore called on Member States to adopt the draft resolution.    
 
Action on Resolution L.25 on the Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/35/L.25) on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, adopted without a vote, the Council strongly condemns once again all extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, in all their forms, that continue to take place throughout the world; and demands that all States ensure that the practice of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions is brought to an end and that they take effective action to combat and eliminate the phenomenon in all its forms.  The Council requests the Special Rapporteur, in carrying out his or her mandate to continue to examine situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in all circumstances and for whatever reason, and to submit his or her findings on an annual basis, together with conclusions and recommendations, to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly; and decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions for three years.
 
Sweden, introducing draft resolution L.25, explained that the main purpose of the resolution was to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a further period of three years.  The mandate had been renewed several times and the resolution was always adopted by consensus in the Council.  The resolution highlighted the important role that the Special Rapporteur played towards eliminating extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.  It also made specific requests to the Special Rapporteur in carrying out the mandate such as to apply a gender perspective in his or her work. 
 
Egypt, in a general comment, reiterated the importance of the role of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.  However, it was unnecessary to include issues related to sexual and gender orientation in his reports, which might result in controversy.  His most recent report included such issues, which had been rejected by Egypt.  Egypt had already shared its concerns with the Swedish delegations but those had not been accepted. 
 

Action on Resolution L.26 on Child, Early and Forced Marriage in Humanitarian Settings
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/35/L.26) on child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian settings, adopted without a vote, the Council invites all stakeholders to promote the use of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Guidelines for Integrating Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action; calls upon States to promote the meaningful participation of and active consultation with children and adolescents affected by humanitarian settings, especially girls, on all issues affecting them and to raise awareness about their rights, including the negative impact of child, early and forced marriage; and requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to create a web portal to bring together and collate information relating to child, early and forced marriage, including in humanitarian settings.  The Council also requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide a written report with input from all relevant stakeholders on child, early and forced marriage with a focus on humanitarian settings to the Human Rights Council at its forty-first session, and to provide an oral update in this regard to the Council at its thirty-eighth session.
 
Netherlands, introducing draft resolution L.26, noted that the issue of child, early and forced marriage remained one of major concern, and it continued to affect many countries all over the world.  Its impact was wide ranging and often had long-lasting repercussions on the human rights of girls and women, including their right to education and to the highest attainable standard of health.  There were clear indicators that the practice of child, early and forced marriage increased in humanitarian contexts, and more could be done to address the linkages and to develop a deeper understanding of the underlying drivers and exacerbating factors in order to develop targeted prevention and response interventions.
 
Sierra Leone, introducing draft resolution L.26, thanked all delegations and stakeholders who had actively engaged with the main sponsors.  The core group believed that the level of engagement clearly demonstrated just how important fighting the issue of child, early and forced marriage remained for many countries, in particular in the context of humanitarian settings.  The draft resolution would help foster greater engagement on that issue and Sierra Leone expressed hope that it would strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of those affected by that harmful practice.  Keeping that issue on the Council’s agenda remained a high priority.
 
United States, in a general comment, reiterated its support for the resolution.  The United States was committed to ending child, early and forced marriage.  Maternal health, HIV/AIDS and gender equality were among the issues correlated to child, early and forced marriage.  Abortion was not supported by the United States as an instrument of family planning assistance.
 
Slovenia, in a general comment, praised the resolution as a major outcome reached after a series of bilateral consultations.  Slovenia considered the text as a balanced reflection of those consultations.  Child, early and forced marriage was linked to other human rights violations.  Slovenia welcomed the fact that the resolution paid important attention to child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian settings.  Parents and legal guardians were also taken into account.  It was a comprehensive and detailed text.
 
Paraguay, in a general comment, said the text was balanced and took into account the diverse and constructive contributions that had been presented by the delegations.  It also considered the supreme interest of the child and of adolescents and allowed the inclusion of the role of parents and tutors in promoting and protecting human rights.  Paraguay called on the members of the Council to adopt the resolution by consensus.
 
Egypt, in a general comment, said the main sponsors had failed to listen.  The law in Egypt set the age of marriage at 18 years for both men and women.  There was a need to address legal gaps which contributed to early, child and forced marriage.  There was an unqualified reference to the Secretary-General’s panel in preambular paragraph 9.  It was regrettable that the text ignored the need to provide protection to the family as a natural and fundamental unit of society.  The disproportionate focus on sexual and reproductive health was also regretted.  Egypt would not interrupt consensus on the resolution due to the pressing need to act on the existence of girl and boy brides and grooms.    
 
Action on Resolution L.28 on the Protection of the Human Rights of Migrants: the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/35/L.28) on the protection of the human rights of migrants: the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to participate, as appropriate, and contribute to the preparatory process of the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, with a view to providing human rights-based input and mainstreaming human rights throughout the global compact; to submit, as co-Chair of the Global Migration Group Working Group on Migration, Human Rights and Gender, principles and practical guidance on the protection of the human rights of migrants in vulnerable situations, and to report thereon to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh session; to submit to the Human Rights Council before its thirty-sixth session a report on the compendium of principles, good practices and policies on safe, orderly and regular migration in line with international human rights law, and to transmit the report to the General Assembly at its seventy-second session.  The Council requests the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants to continue to report on solutions and to contribute to and participate in key discussions relating to the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants, including with respect to the large movement of migrants, by identifying best practices and concrete areas and means for international cooperation in order to enhance the protection of the human rights of migrants.
 
Mexico, introducing draft resolution L.28, said that the resolution aimed to contribute to the process of the adoption of the Global Compact on safe, orderly and regular migration.  It called on States to use the expertise of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to that end.  It was absolutely vital that human beings were at the centre of that debate.  The resolution aimed to highlight the tools produced by the Office and the Council in order to ensure that human rights occupied the primary place in the Global Compact.  For Mexico, the increasing trend to criminalize migration was of particular concern.  The text was the result of a broad consultation process. 
 
Germany, speaking on behalf of the European Union in a general comment, welcomed Mexico’s efforts to take into account various proposals.  The 19 September 2016 summit  was a landmark event as the start of the process which should lead to the Global Compact on safe, orderly and regular migration.  The European Union stood firmly behind the New York Declaration.  Because of the importance of the human rights of migrants, the Council should accommodate the process leading up to the adoption of the Global Compact.  However, some language in the draft resolution was problematic, namely the language regarding the criminalization of regular migration.  Sovereign States had the right to determine independently when such criminalization could be determined.  Nevertheless, the European Union would join the consensus on the draft resolution.
 
United States, in an explanation of the vote before vote, joined consensus on the resolution.  The United States underscored that none of the provisions contained in the resolution provided obligations for States.  The United States would continue to take steps to protect its sovereignty and security, including by controlling its borders.  The United States remained committed to the use of safe migratory processes and to providing decent treatment for migrant children.  The United States dissociated from the language criminalizing migrants.  However, each State had the right to choose who would be admitted in their territories. 
 
The resolution was adopted without a vote.

Action on Resolution L.29 on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and Girls
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/35/L.29 as orally revised) on elimination of discrimination against women and girls, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States to repeal all laws that exclusively or disproportionately criminalize actions or behaviours of women and girls, and laws that discriminate against them, based on any grounds, including any custom, tradition or cultural or religious consideration contrary to the obligation to eliminate discrimination against women and girls; to ensure the equal enjoyment of girls and boys to quality education at all levels and the elimination of discriminatory laws and practices, school-related gender-based violence and gender stereotypes that prevent girls from having access to, completing and continuing their education; to implement policies to engage, educate, encourage and support men and boys to take an active part and become strategic partners and allies in the prevention and elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls; and to ensure access to justice and accountability mechanisms and remedies for the effective implementation and enforcement of laws aimed at preventing and eliminating discrimination against women and girls, taking into account the multiple, intersecting and aggravating forms of discrimination. 
 
Mexico, introducing draft resolution L.29, explained that the text was the outcome of an open and transparent process of consultations.  It underscored the challenges that still existed in eliminating gender discrimination, stressing the fundamental role of men and boys as agents of change.  The draft resolution also referred to sexual and reproductive health rights in order to allow all persons to make autonomous decisions in all circumstances.  Mexico urged Member States to adopt the draft resolution without a vote.
 
Russian Federation, introducing amendments L.41 and L.42, noted that ensuring the equality of men and women was a priority for the Russian Federation.  Any gender discrimination was duly investigated by relevant authorities.  The Russian Federation agreed with the approach of the draft resolution.  Nevertheless, the amendments proposed to change the term “human rights defenders” because it was not internationally accepted.  The Council did not have the authority to reinterpret the provisions of relevant international documents on that topic.  The Russian Federation agreed that education was an essential tool for eliminating discrimination against women and girls.  However, the term “comprehensive sexuality education” was not comprehendible and did not enjoy the support of States.  Human rights education, not so-called sexuality education, should be the basic preventive mechanism to eliminate discrimination against women and girls.  Thus, the Russian Federation proposed that “comprehensive sexuality education” be removed from the text of the draft resolution.  It called on Member States to vote for the proposed amendments. 
 
Egypt, in a general comment, highlighted that international instruments prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender.  It was not the Council’s role to re-write international mechanisms.  Egypt suggested that the word gender be replaced by the word sex.
 
Netherlands, in a general comment, said that the draft resolution was the result of an open and inclusive consultation process.  The proposed amendments were not acceptable to the main sponsors of the resolution.  On amendment L.41 on women human rights defenders, it was important to note that they were referring to a well-established term.  On the second amendment L.42, it was important to note that educators needed to be well equipped to deliver educational programmes on the importance of respectful relationships based on gender equality and human rights.
 
United Arab Emirates, in a general comment on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council, thanked the sponsors of the draft resolution, noting that the Gulf Cooperation Council countries attached great importance to the rights of women and girls.  They reiterated their commitment to fighting violence against women.  Islam advocated peace, which was why the Gulf countries welcomed the draft resolution.  Nevertheless, the countries could not accept paragraphs 7, 9, 16 and 17 of the preamble, and several operative paragraphs.  The Gulf Cooperation Council countries did not consider themselves bound by those paragraphs.
 
Germany, speaking on behalf of the European Union in a general comment, welcomed all efforts to eliminate violence against women.  The draft document was a balanced text.  The elimination of all forms of violence was essential for the achievement of gender equality.  Every individual should be able to decide freely about their sexual and reproductive health issues.  The European Union stressed the need for universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, including to comprehensive sexuality education.  It noted the role of civil society in that domain.  It would vote against any amendments to the draft resolution.
 
El Salvador, in a general comment, reiterated that the protection of the rights of women was a priority.  El Salvador had adopted several action plans and measures to protect and promote women’s rights.  However, El Salvador stressed that the resolution included language that went beyond several principles of its internal legislation.
 
Brazil, in a general comment, said that the text contributed substantively to address violations against women’s rights.  It referred to the need to realize the highest level of mental and physical health for women and engaged men and boys in the prevention and elimination of discrimination against women.  In the context of the 2030 Agenda, empowering women and girls was key to the promotion of all human rights in a way that left no one behind
 
Egypt, in a general comment, said that the elimination of discrimination on the basis of sex guided the implementation of public policies by the Government.  Egypt regretted that the sponsors of the resolution did not solidify the consensus on the text.  The insistence on using the term “human rights defenders”, while aware of the differences among members of the Council for the acceptance of this term, was rejected.  Egypt also regretted the use of language that was disrespectful of cultural specificities such as the right to inheritance.  Egypt was concerned about the obsession on sexual and reproductive rights in the resolution.  Egypt would continue to refuse to recognize the term “comprehensive sexual education”, which was used to promote abortion and same-sex relationships. 
 
Action on Amendment L.41
 
Albania, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it was not in a position to accept the proposed amendment, which sought to delete the reference to women human rights defenders.  That would send a negative signal to women human rights defenders around the world.  The terms human rights defenders and women human rights defenders were well established in the work of the United Nations. 
 
Japan, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, opposed the proposed amendment because it undermined the important role of all women human rights defenders.  That term was well established and it referred to all persons working to defend women’s rights.  Japan would thus vote against the amendment.
 
Latvia, in an explanation of the vote, opposed the proposed amendment because it sought to replace the term women human rights defenders with language that had never enjoyed the Council’s support.  It encouraged Member States to vote against it.
 
The Council rejected amendment L.41 by a vote of 14 in favour, 26 against and six abstentions.
 
Action on L.42
 
Belgium, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that it could not support amendment L.42.  Belgium stressed the importance of recognizing comprehensive sexual education programmes as a way to promote a holistic comprehension of sexuality.  Such programmes played a crucial role in empowering all persons, particularly women and girls, in their sexual and reproductive life. 
 
Switzerland, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, shared the belief of Belgium on the importance that the resolution would support the concept of comprehensive and complete sexual education.  Programmes of education on this topic were essential for the promotion of equality between individuals and enabled young people to freely decide on questions related to sexuality and reproduction. 
 
The Council rejected amendment L.42 by a vote of 17 in favour, 25 against and three abstentions. 
 
Action on Oral Amendment
 
Latvia, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it did not consider last minute amendments during the day of the vote because this did not allow time for consultation with capitals.  For that reason the oral amendment proposed by Egypt was not supported. 
 
Switzerland, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said the draft resolution was the result of a very open and inclusive process.  The oral amendment, which wanted to replace the concept of “gender” with “sex”, could not be supported.  The former described concepts described by a culture as feminine or masculine.  Discrimination against women was also because of gender norms ascribed to people in society.  States parties had an obligation to do away with sexist stereotypes.
 
The oral amendment was rejected by a recorded vote of 10 in favour to 24 against with 11 abstentions. 
 
Action on L.21
 
Bangladesh, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, stated that the goal of the elimination of discrimination against women was not the subject of cultural and religious particularities.  Bangladesh would disassociate itself from several paragraphs.
 
Iraq, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, noted that the draft resolution was important, but it did not take into account cultural and religious particularities, which weakened the general consensus.  Iraq disassociated itself from several paragraphs.  
 
United States, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, underlined that its key policy goal was the elimination of discrimination against women, which was why it strongly supported it.  However, the United States had to disassociate itself from paragraphs on reproductive health.  Each country had to determine for itself whether such measures were appropriate.  The United States valued the role of women human rights defenders.  International humanitarian law was inclusive of gender.  
 
Tunisia, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, expressed full support for draft resolution L.29.  However, it had reservations on the preamble paragraph 13 concerning inheritance. 
 
Action on Resolution L.31 on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/35/L.31) on extreme poverty and human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend, for a period of three years, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, as set out in Human Rights Council resolution 8/11; requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to give high priority to extreme poverty and human rights, to pursue further work in this area in full cooperation with the Special Rapporteur in the various activities, and to continue to provide the Special Rapporteur with all the assistance necessary for the effective fulfilment of his mandate; and calls upon all Governments to cooperate with and assist the Special Rapporteur in his task, to supply all necessary information requested by the mandate holder, and to respond favourably to the requests of the Special Rapporteur to visit their countries to enable him to fulfil his mandate effectively.
 
France introducing the draft resolution L.31 on behalf of a transregional group of countries, said that the transregional group sought to renew, for a period of three years, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, and hoped that the draft text would be adopted by consensus.  The transregional group reiterated its full support for this particularly important mandate which would advance the cause of those deprived of their most basic rights only because they lived in extreme poverty.  Now, more than ever, combatting this scourge should be the priority for the Human Rights Council.
 
South Africa reiterated in a general comment its concern about the misleading assertion in the draft resolution purporting that extreme poverty persisted in all countries of the world, regardless of their level of development.  This statement was not only misleading but also negated the well-established categorization of United Nations Member States to developed, developing, heavy-indebted poor countries, the least developed countries and small island developing states.  The draft text also confused between poverty on one hand and extreme poverty on another, and it negated the issues of underdevelopment, marginalization, social exclusion and economic disparities, and their relationship with poverty.
 
Belgium, in a general comment, said the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty was a key mechanism to address extreme poverty from a human rights perspective.  Extreme poverty was not a strictly economic issue, but should be also looked at from the development perspective.  It was important to adopt a holistic and integrated approach on that topic.  Belgium would thus associate itself with the draft resolution and it called on all to join the consensus.
 
Paraguay, in a general comment, said it was aware of the profound impact of extreme poverty on human rights.  It needed to be addressed in an urgent and permanent fashion, with focus on human rights.  The promise to leave no one behind should be upheld.  Paraguay called on Member States to continue supporting the draft resolution and to adopt it by consensus.
 
Action on Resolution L.32 on Human Rights and Climate Change
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/35/L.32, as orally revised) on human rights and climate change, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize an intersessional panel discussion prior to the commencement of phase II of the intergovernmental process leading to the global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration, with the theme “Human rights, climate change, migrants and persons displaced across international borders”…, and to submit a summary report of the panel discussion to the appropriate mechanisms sufficiently in advance to ensure that it feeds into the stocktaking meeting of the preparatory process leading to the adoption of the global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration and to the work of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, and particularly to the ongoing work of the Task Force on Displacement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change…, and to submit the summary report to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh session; to undertake research on addressing human rights protection gaps in the context of migration and displacement of persons across international borders resulting from the sudden onset and slow onset adverse effects of climate change and the necessary means of implementation of adaptation and mitigation plans of developing countries to bridge the protection gaps and submit a report on the research to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-eighth session.
 
Philippines, introducing draft resolution L.32 on human rights and climate change as orally revised, said that the co-sponsors had endeavoured to accommodate all concerns of delegations without compromising the objectives and principles enshrined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.  Climate change continued and would continue to negatively impact all, without exception, and it needed common but differentiated responsibilities of all States.  The resolution aimed to ensure that the effects of climate change on human rights, particularly of migrants and people displaced across international borders, were further examined by carrying out an inter-sessional panel discussion and a research study, with focus on the full and effective enjoyment of rights of migrants and cross border displaced persons.
 
Bangladesh, introducing the draft resolution L.32 as orally revised, said that the core group tried to accommodate concerns of all delegations.  This year the resolution focused on the adverse impact of climate change on migrants and refugees, as it further increased their vulnerability and marginalization.  The draft text aimed to contribute to the discussions on the Global Compact on safe, regular and orderly migration.  Bangladesh then introduced oral amendments to the draft text.
 
Viet Nam, introducing the draft resolution L.32 as orally revised, shared the view that climate change had adverse effect on people’s lives.  It was most felt in climate-vulnerable countries and was especially adverse for vulnerable groups, such as women and children.  A comprehensive approach was required to address the issue of climate change.  The adoption of the draft resolution would be timely in the context of the process to reach the Global Compact on safe, orderly and regular migration.  Viet Nam would continue working with other delegations in the context of climate change, and it called for support for the draft resolution.
 
Germany, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, expressed appreciation to the main sponsors.  Climate change was a common concern of humankind.  The draft resolution brought attention to the impact of climate change on displacement, particularly of children.  It was necessary to empower those most vulnerable ones in the face of climate change.  However, the European Union regretted that the text had departed from the previously agreed language, such as the Paris Agreement.  The European Union would implement the Paris Agreement because it was a common interest and a common responsibility.  
 
United States, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the effects of climate change had a range of implications on the enjoyment of human rights.  The United States would join the consensus.  However, the resolution raised a number of concerns, and recalling that the President of the United States had said that the United States would renegotiate the Paris Agreement, said that the unnecessary quotations in the draft resolution could not pre-judge negotiations in other fora and it detrimentally ignored diversity in drivers of migration.  The research requested by the draft resolution would address human rights protection in the context of migration and climate change, but it was not the place for the Council to address issues of adaptation and mitigation.
 
Action on Resolution L.33 as orally revised on the Contribution of Development to the Enjoyment of All Human Rights
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/35/L.33/Rev.1, as orally revised) on the contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights, adopted by a recorded vote of 30 in favour to 13 against with 3 abstentions, the Council calls upon all countries to realize people-centred development of the people, by the people and for the people, and also calls upon all States to spare no effort in promoting sustainable development, in particular while implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as it is conducive to the overall enjoyment of human rights.  The Council requests the Advisory Committee to conduct a study on the ways in which development contributes to the enjoyment of all human rights by all, in particular on best experiences and practices, and to submit the report to the Human Rights Council before its forty-first session.
 
The result of the vote was as follows:
 
In favour (30): Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan Mongolia, Nigeria, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
 
Against (13): Albania, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America.
 
Abstentions (3): Georgia, Panama, and Republic of Korea.
 
China, introducing draft resolution L.33, stated that the right to development was the only way to guarantee the other rights of all people.  Today, world inequalities were enormous.  Poverty and hunger had not been eliminated and there was a need to enable sustainable development to benefit all mankind? The resolution aimed at recognizing the importance of the right to development and to enable development to benefit people.  The text also stressed that all human rights were interdependent, interrelated, and mutually reinforcing.  China had worked in an open manner to elaborate the resolution, bearing in mind that its content should not be altered.  The result draft was comprehensive, balanced and reflected the positions of all sides.
 
Venezuela in a general comment on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement expressed full support for the draft resolution as it was fully in line with the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development.  The adoption of the 2030 Agenda meant that the international community must step up international cooperation and remove barriers to the development of countries.  More effort was needed to bring about sustainable development and ensure enjoyment of all human rights, including the right to development, which would establish societies in which the rule of law prevailed.  Without the full enjoyment of the right to development, there could be no full enjoyment of any other right and the Council should consider this right on an equal footing with all other human rights and fundamental freedoms.
 
Cuba, in a general comment, said that the draft resolution re-emphasized that development made a significant contribution to the enjoyment of all human rights by all individuals.  Those unwilling to recognize this were usually those who denied the right to development, the right to international solidarity and the right to peace.  Cuba shared the vision expressed in the draft resolution and urged all Member States to support it.
 
Egypt, in a general comment, noted that various international instruments had established the right to development as a universal and inalienable human right, and that the realization of an individual’s right to development contributed to the realization of all other human rights.  However, the right to development was still to be truly realized.  Egypt regretted that countries still did not recognize development as a human right and supported the pick and choose agenda on which rights to recognize.  Today, the realization of the right to development was more important than ever as this right was in fact at the core of the 2030 Agenda.
 
United States, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, stated that development, including sustainable development, contributed to a better respect of human rights.  However, all States should be encouraged to achieve their international obligations regardless of their level of development.  The resolution omitted key language elements such as the crucial term of democracy which had not been included.    Other distortions of consensus language had been included, making development a prerequisite to the completion of human rights. 
 
Germany, in an explanation of the vote before the vote on behalf of the European Union, stressed that development and human rights were interlinked and mutually reinforcing.  Documents such as the Vienna Declaration and the Agenda 2030 were key to establish this relation.  However, the resolution placed development above human rights.   The lack of development could not be invoked to infringe basic human rights obligations.  The universality of human rights and interrelatedness were central to the European Union development cooperation.  Meetings with China had been launched to reach consensus. 
 
The Council then adopted resolution L.33 by a vote of 30 in favour, 13 against and three abstentions.
 
Action on Resolution L.35 on Realizing the Equal Enjoyment of the Right to Education by Every Girl
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/35/L.35) on realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl, adopted without a vote, the Council urges all States: to strengthen and intensify their efforts to take deliberate, concrete and targeted steps to fully realize the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl, and to eliminate legal, administrative, financial, structural, social and cultural barriers that hinder girls’ equal enjoyment of the right to education; to strengthen and intensify their efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of school-related violence against girls and to hold those responsible for those acts accountable; to eliminate gender stereotypes from all educational processes, practices and teaching materials, including through periodic review and revision of school curricula, textbooks, programmes and teaching methods, and inclusion of human rights education, including on gender equality and non-discrimination, as part of the mandatory school curriculum, and ensure that girls are encouraged to freely choose non-traditional fields of study; and to provide adequate access to water and safe, separate and quality sanitation facilities in schools and promote appropriate hygiene behaviour, since school water supply and sanitation are essential elements of basic education.

United Arab Emirates, introducing draft resolution L.35, drew attention to the  extreme differences in access to education between boys and girls: of the 57 million children out of school, 38 million were girls, while two-thirds of illiterate adults were women.  The draft resolution tried to inject the dynamism of the 2030 Agenda in the implementation of the right to education and to ensure equal access of girls and boys to quality education, and to alleviate obstacles that deprived girls from accessing education, including forced marriages and early pregnancies.  The draft resolution also called upon rich countries to support poor ones in their efforts to increase the level of access by girls to quality education.
 
United States, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that while it condemned attacks on schools, it did not recognize an obligation under international law to provide a safe environment for schools.

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