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Human Rights Council adopts 12 texts, including on effects of terrorism on human rights, extends mandates on Myanmar, Mali and Haiti

MORNING
 

GENEVA (24 March 2016) - The Human Rights Council this morning adopted 12 texts, including a resolution on the effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of human rights, and extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for one year, the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali for one year, and the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti for one year.
 
Other resolutions related to human rights education and training; the negative impact of the non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin to the countries of origin on the enjoyment of human rights, and the importance of improving international cooperation; promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal; human rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan; combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief; strengthening technical assistance, cooperation and advisory services for Guinea and for Libya; and torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment - safeguards to prevent torture during police custody and pre-trial detention
 
Concerning the resolution on the effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of all human rights, adopted by a vote of 28 in favour, 14 against, and five abstentions, the Council urged States, while countering terrorism, to respect and protect all human rights, and to take appropriate measures to duly investigate the incitement, preparation or commission of acts of terrorism, and to bring to justice those engaged in such acts.  The Council also urged States to adopt rehabilitation and reintegration strategies for returning foreign terrorist fighters.
 
In the resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, adopted without a vote, the Council called upon the Government of Myanmar to take further steps to consolidate the progress made to end all remaining human rights violations, and extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for a further period of one year.
 
With regard to the resolution on technical assistance and capacity building for Mali in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council extended the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali for a period of one year, and decided to hold an interactive dialogue at its thirty-fourth session in the presence of the Independent Expert and the Government of Mali, in order to assess the evolution of the situation of human rights in the country, with a particular focus on justice and reconciliation.
 
The Council in a Presidential Statement welcomed and approved the request of the Haitian authorities for a one-year extension of the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, within the framework of technical assistance and capacity-building, and requested the Independent Expert to present to the Council at its thirty-fourth session his report on the situation of human rights in Haiti.
 
In the resolution on human rights education and training, the Council decided to convene during its thirty-third session a high-level panel discussion to mark the fifth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training focusing on the theme: "The implementation of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training: good practices and challenges".
 
Concerning the negative impact of the non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin to the countries of origin on the enjoyment of human rights, and the importance of improving international cooperation, the Council adopted a resolution by a vote of 32 in favour, none against, and 15 abstentions, in which it called upon States to continue considering the establishment of an intergovernmental working group on the negative impact of illicit financial flows on the enjoyment of human rights.  It requested the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council to conduct a comprehensive research-based study on the impact of flow of funds of illicit origin, and the non-repatriation thereof to the countries of origin, on the enjoyment of human rights.
 
On promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal, the Council decided to convene a panel discussion, at its thirty-second session, on the possibilities of using sport and the Olympic ideal to promote human rights for all including persons with disabilities.
 
In the resolution on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan, adopted by a vote of 31 in favour, none against, and 16 abstentions, the Council called upon Israel, the Occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council, and to desist from its continuous building of settlements.
 
On combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief, the Council adopted a resolution without a vote in which it requested the High Commissioner to prepare and submit to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-fourth session a comprehensive follow-up report with elaborated conclusions based upon information provided by States on the efforts and measures taken in this regard.
 
On technical assistance and capacity building to improve human rights in Libya, the Council requested the High Commissioner to present an oral update to the Council at its thirty-third session during an interactive dialogue, with the participation of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General For Libya, on the human rights situation in Libya; and requested the High Commissioner to present a written report to the Council at its thirty-fourth session, during an interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Libya.
 
Concerning strengthening technical cooperation and advisory services for Guinea, the Council strongly reiterated its call on the international community to provide the Government of Guinea with appropriate assistance to promote respect for human rights, the fight against impunity and reform of the security and justice sector, as well as ongoing initiatives to promote truth, justice and national reconciliation.
 
In the resolution torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment - safeguards to prevent torture during police custody and pre-trial detention, the Council requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to convene, in 2017, an intersessional, full-day open-ended seminar aimed at exchanging national experiences and practices on the implementation of effective safeguards to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment during police custody and pre-trial detention.
 
Introducing draft texts were Morocco, South Africa on behalf of the African Group, Greece, Netherlands on behalf of the European Union, Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Egypt, and Denmark.
 
Speaking in general comments were South Africa, Philippines, Indonesia, Viet Nam, China, Cuba, Netherlands on behalf of the European Union, Morocco, Switzerland, and Algeria.
 
Speaking in explanation of the vote before or after the vote were Netherlands on behalf of the European Union, Switzerland, Mexico, India, Russian Federation, Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium, and Saudi Arabia on behalf of a group of countries.
 
Myanmar, Syria, Libya, Mali, and Guinea spoke as concerned countries.
 
The Council will reconvene at 1 p.m., to continue taking action on remaining draft decisions and resolutions before closing its thirty-first session.
 
Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Right to Development
 
Action on Resolution on Human Rights Education and Training
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.12) on human rights education and training, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council calls upon States to take appropriate measures to ensure the effective implementation of and follow-up to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training; encourages States and all other stakeholders to strengthen the implementation of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, including its third phase; and decides to convene during its thirty-third session a High-Level panel discussion to mark the fifth anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training focusing on the theme: "The implementation of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training: good practices and challenges".
 
Morocco, introducing draft resolution L.12, said that the text paid tribute to the vital role of human rights education and training for the protection and promotion of human rights.  It focused on extremists’ violence and education, and underlined the role of the media, and stressed the need for equality, non-discrimination and non-violence.  The Sustainable Development Goals had recognized the importance of education, Morocco recalled.   
 
South Africa, in a general comment, said that draft resolution L.12 raised pertinent issues, and agreed that education was key to ensure equality and human rights protection.  South Africa had taken initiatives to raise awareness on its Constitution and human rights.  It had translated its Constitution in all national languages, including braille. 
 
Action on Resolution on the Negative Impact of the Non-Repatriation of Funds of Illicit Origin to the Countries of Origin on the Enjoyment of Human Rights, and the Importance of Improving International Cooperation
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.24/Rev.1) on the negative impact of the non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin to the countries of origin on the enjoyment of human rights, and the importance of improving international cooperation, adopted by a vote of 32 in favour, none against, and 15 abstentions, the Council calls upon all States that have not yet acceded to the United Nations Convention against Corruption to consider doing so as a matter of priority; calls upon all States to seek to reduce opportunities for tax avoidance, to consider inserting anti-abuse clauses in all tax treaties and to enhance disclosure practices and transparency in both source and destination countries; and  invites the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption to consider ways of adopting a human rights-based approach in the implementation of the Convention.  The Council also calls upon States to continue considering the establishment of an intergovernmental working group on the negative impact of illicit financial flows on the enjoyment of human rights; and requests the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council to conduct a comprehensive research-based study on the impact of flow of funds of illicit origin, and the non-repatriation thereof to the countries of origin, on the enjoyment of human rights.
 
The results of the vote were as follows:
 
 
In favour (32):Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Togo, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam. 
 
Abstentions (15):Albania, Belgium, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
 
Against (0):  
 
South Africa, introducing L.24/ Rev.1 on the negative impact of non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin to the countries of origin, said the development process of many countries had been hampered by fraudulent practices that led to the generation of billions worth of funds of illicit origin, which had been transferred from developing countries in particular.  It was estimated that financial flows in Africa ranged from $ 50 billion to $ 60 billion a year.  This phenomenon, if it continued, could threaten the stability and sustainable development of States, undermine the values of democracy, rule of law and morality, and jeopardize social, economic and political development.  The draft resolution invited the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt to continue to study the impact of illicit financial flows on the enjoyment of human rights, and requested the Advisory Committee to conduct a comprehensive research-based study on the impact of the flow of funds of illicit origin.  The gravity of the phenomenon necessitated that the Council consider it from all its issues.
 
Netherlands, in an explanation of the vote before the vote on behalf of the European Union, acknowledged the constructive negotiation process led by Tunisia and Egypt, and appreciated their efforts to take concerns into account.  However, the resolution continued to address this issue in a way at odds with the mandate of the Human Rights Council.  The European Union could not support the creation of an intergovernmental mechanism, which would create unnecessary duplication and which would not be efficient.  The European Union would have preferred a resolution focusing on the root causes, including transnational crime.  For these reasons, the European Union Member States that were Members of the Council would call for a vote and abstain. 
 
Switzerland, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that strong partnership was necessary for the repatriation of funds of illicit origin, and regretted that this aspect had not been considered in the draft.  Switzerland would abstain. 
 
Mexico, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that it would abstain on this draft resolution because of its concerns regarding the duplication of work.  Mexico nevertheless reaffirmed its full commitment to international efforts for the repatriation of funds of illicit origin to help developing countries.  It urged co-sponsors to find a better way to address this issue within the Council. 
 
Action on Resolution on Promoting Human Rights through Sport and the Olympic Ideal
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.29) on promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon States to cooperate with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee in their efforts to use sport as a tool to promote human rights, development, peace, dialogue and reconciliation; encourages States to promote sport as a means to combat all forms of discrimination; calls upon States to take effective measures to address vandalism and violence during and around sport events; and decides to convene a panel discussion, at its thirty-second session, on the possibilities of using sport and the Olympic ideal to promote human rights for all including persons with disabilities.
 
Greece, introducing L.29 on promoting human rights through sport and the Olympic ideal, said the resolution took into account the report of the Advisory Committee on the same topic.  It called for a panel discussion to be held during the next Council session in June on using sport and the Olympic ideal to promote human rights for all, including persons with disabilities. 
 
Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on Human Rights Situations that Require the Council’s Attention
 
Action on Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.30/Rev.1) on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon the Government of Myanmar to take further steps to consolidate the progress made to end all remaining human rights violations, to protect the human rights of all; encourages the Government of Myanmar to take further steps to strengthen democratic institutions, good governance and the rule of law; stresses the need for review and reform of legislation, including the Constitution, to ensure adherence with international norms and standards, and the need for a more independent, impartial and effective judiciary; and calls upon the international community to support the national efforts made by Myanmar and its institutions to strengthen the rule of law in the country.  The Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for a further period of one year.
 
Netherlands, introducing on behalf of the European Union draft resolution L.30/Rev1 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, said the resolution was proposed at an historic juncture for Myanmar and the transfer of power to the next democratic government.  The text gave due recognition to the progress made since this process began some years ago.  The draft resolution extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for one more year, which would enhance the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as strengthen the cooperation between the Government of Myanmar and the Human Rights Council.  It invited the Special Rapporteur to identify areas for technical assistance and capacity building and called for the home states of business companies to fully implement their duty to protect human rights in line with the principles of business and human rights.
 
Philippines, in a general comment, noted advances made in Myanmar, such as the free and fair elections, adding that at the current point in time, the international community should continue to constructively engage Myanmar.  In Myanmar, as in many countries, the challenge was the lack of capacity. 
 
Indonesia, in a general comment, said that Myanmar’s democracy was fully owned by Myanmar itself.  Indonesia had been with Myanmar in its democratic transition from the beginning.  The international community had to lend constructive cooperation according to Myanmar’s own needs, including in the field of human rights.  The text before the Council reflected the progress and development on the ground.  Indonesia was willing to join the consensus but some elements were too prescriptive.
 
Viet Nam congratulated Myanmar on the recent successfully held elections as well as reform toward stability and prosperity.  With new leadership, Viet Nam believed Myanmar would stay committed to ensuring sustainable achievements.  In further promoting development and peace in the region and beyond, progress could only be further secured through genuine dialogue among all stakeholders according to the principles set out in the United Nations Charter.  Viet Nam urged all parties to engage more constructively which should be adequately reflected in the review of the issue by the Human Rights Council.
 
China, in a general comment, recognized progress achieved in Myanmar for the protection and protection of human rights, and noted the positive attitude of the country.  China stressed that the work of the Human Rights Council should be based on the principles of the United Nations Charter and the sovereignty of States should be respected.  Human rights should be addressed through cooperation, without politicization or double standards.  China would therefore disassociate itself from the consensus on this text. 
 
Myanmar, speaking as the concerned country, reiterated its principled position against country-specific resolutions.  Myanmar rejected operational paragraphs 2 and 5, and had strong reservations about operational paragraphs 7 and 8, as there were no political prisoners in Myanmar.  The text failed to duly recognize genuine progress achieved on the ground.  For these reasons, Myanmar would disassociate itself from the resolution as a whole. 
 
India, in an explanation of the vote before the vote on L.30/Rev.1, said it acknowledged the initiatives by the Government of Myanmar, and the positive developments in the country.  India believed that the international community needed to continue to engage constructively with the people of Myanmar, especially in the wake of the successful general elections of November 2015.  A genuine request for assistance had been requested at a prime time for need.   Myanmar reflected strong political will and reforms.  Consequently, the international community had to engage more constructively to support these processes.  India therefore disassociated itself from the draft resolution.
 
Russian Federation, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, noted that the co-sponsors had recognized the achievements of Myanmar and that in comparison to previous texts this text was much better.  However some things were still unclear in the draft resolution, such as the full mandate of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  Namely, the opening of the country office and the way it would operate was a bilateral affair and a third party should not interfere.  Furthermore, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur had been created under completely different conditions and was now outdated.  Against the background of visible achievements, this resolution could have been introduced under agenda item 10 on technical assistance.  Since it was not introduced as such, Russia disassociated itself from this draft resolution.
 
Cuba, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it had always been opposed to selective approaches.  Therefore it did not support either the spirit or the content of the draft resolution, even though it contained new developments.  Despite the call by many countries to move the debate to the agenda item on technical cooperation and capacity building, this had not been done.  Cuba reiterated its determination to depoliticise the Human Rights Council’s work.  The Universal Periodic Review was the ideal platform for true exchange and dialogue.  Selective approaches were unwarranted.
 
Venezuela, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the Special Rapporteur had had every support in conducting tasks in the country and that Myanmar had offered its full cooperation to the Council.  Constructive dialogue was the appropriate avenue for the promotion and protection of human rights, and Venezuela reiterated its position of principle on draft resolutions with political motivations and dissociated itself from the resolution.
 
Ecuador, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that several countries had requested that the debate on Myanmar be moved to item 10 on the agenda, and Ecuador supported that.  The efforts of Myanmar to improve the human rights situation there continued to be discussed under the current agenda item, despite the suggestion to move it to item 10, and therefore Ecuador would dissociate itself from the resolution.
 
Action on Resolution under the Agenda Item on the Human Rights Situation in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories
 
Action on Resolution on Human Rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.31) on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan, adopted by a vote of 31 in favour, none against, and 16 abstentions, the Council calls upon Israel, the Occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council; also calls upon Israel to desist from its continuous building of settlements; and further calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan.  The Council determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken or to be taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, including the Knesset’s decision of 22 November 2010 to hold a referendum before any withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan and East Jerusalem, that seek to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, are null and void; and requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Governments, the competent United Nations organs, specialized agencies, international and regional intergovernmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations.
 
The results of the vote were as follows:
 
In favour (31): Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.
 
Abstentions (16): Albania, Belgium, Botswana, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Netherlands, Paraguay, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
 
Against (0):  
 
Pakistan, introducing draft resolution L.31 on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that since the occupation of the Syrian Golan in 1967, grave and systematic human rights violations including the imposition of illegal Israeli citizenship on Syrian citizens, and the prohibition of visits of Syrian citizens to their families in the motherland, continued.  The operative paragraphs focused on the dire human rights situation emanating from occupation, and called upon Israel to allow delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Syrian prisoners of conscience and detainees in prisons accompanied by specialized physicians to assess their physical and mental health. 
 
Cuba, in a general comment on draft resolution L.31, said Israel continued to attack the human rights of citizens in the Syrian Golan despite the resolution.  The only solution was Israel’s withdrawal from the territories.  This was why Cuba fully supported the draft resolution.
 
Syria, speaking as the concerned country, thanked Pakistan for introducing the draft resolution, which urged Israel to put a stop to its systematic and continuous violations to international humanitarian law in the Syrian Golan.  There was a need to protect citizens and put an end to the Israeli policy which aimed to change the geographic makeup of the Syrian Golan through colonial settlements.  There was an attempt to impose Israeli citizenship, grab natural resources and prevent any building on the land.  Citizens were deprived of their right to freedom of expression and movement.  Israel continued to violate resolutions of the United Nations by taking other peoples’ land by force and tried to present to the international community with a “fait accompli”.  This was why Syria called on the Human Rights Council to vote in favour of the resolution and called on Israel to free detainees and to respect international law by withdrawal from all occupied territories, including the Syrian Golan.
 
Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union in an explanation of the vote before the vote, reaffirmed the European Union’s commitment to the protection of human rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan.  The Council was presented today with a text which had not changed since it was last presented and which the European Union could not support, as any text should be negotiated in a more constructive manner.  The European Union therefore called for a vote and European Union Member States which were members of the Human Rights Council would abstain.
 
Action on Resolution under the Agenda Item on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Forms of Intolerance, Follow-up to and Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
 
Action on Resolution on Combatting Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.34) on combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief, adopted without a vote, the Council condemns deeply any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence; calls upon all States to take effective measures to ensure that public functionaries, in the conduct of their public duties, do not discriminate against an individual on the basis of religion or belief, and to foster religious freedom and pluralism by promoting the ability of members of all religious communities to manifest their religion, and to contribute openly and on an equal footing to society. The Council calls upon States to adopt measures and policies to promote full respect for and protection of places of worship and religious sites, cemeteries and shrines; and requests the High Commissioner to prepare and submit to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-fourth session a comprehensive follow-up report with elaborated conclusions based upon information provided by States on the efforts and measures taken in this regard.
 
Pakistan, introducing draft resolution L.34 on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that it had conducted open and inclusive negotiations, and dealt with the issues in the resolution in a consensual manner.  The Organization of Islamic Cooperation remained concerned about stigmatization and legislation targeting Muslim minorities, and called on States to take all measures to combat these.  All leaders should speak out against discrimination, stigmatization and violence against persons on the ground of their religion. 
 
Netherlands, speaking on  behalf of the European Union in a general comment on L.34, said it supported the adoption of the resolution.  The European Union was repelled by repeated reports of lynching, persecutions and other abhorrent practices, all linked with religion or belief.  It was because of this that all had to unite behind this resolution.  Addressing intolerance had to go beyond the resolution, and all had to take action to promote implementation.  The Action Plan in the resolution provided useful information in that regard.  States had to take the lead to take action at home.
 
Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building
 
Action on Resolution on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building to Improve Human Rights in Libya
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.20) on the technical assistance and capacity building to improve human rights in Libya, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon the Government of  National Accord to fully implement the Libyan Political Agreement, including the security arrangements; strongly urges all parties to immediately cease violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law and to engage fully in support of a Government of National Accord; calls upon the Government of Libya to increase efforts to end impunity; calls upon all Libyans to unite in combatting terrorism in the country, and urges all Member States to actively cooperate in this regard with the Government of Libya and to provide support as requested.  The Council also urges the Libyan authorities to expedite the voluntary, safe and dignified return of all persons displaced by the conflict since 2011; urges the Libyan Constitutional Assembly to intensify its efforts to complete a draft constitution that protects the human rights of all; requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue its close  engagement with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya in order to provide coordinated human rights technical assistance to the Government of Libya; requests the High Commissioner to present an oral update to the Council at its thirty-third session during an interactive dialogue, with the participation of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General For Libya, on the human rights situation in Libya; and requests the High Commissioner to present a written report to the Council at its thirty-fourth session during an interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Libya.

South Africa, introducing draft resolution L.20 entitled ‘technical assistance and capacity building to improve human rights in Libya’ on behalf of the African Group, said that the draft arrived at a crucial moment when Libya needed the international community’s support to address the human rights situation in the country.  Updates to the draft resolution since the preceding year were described.  The resolution among other measures requested the High Commissioner to present an oral update during an interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Council with the participation of the Special Representative for the Secretary-General for Libya, as well as a written report.    
 
Libya, speaking as the concerned country, expressed its appreciation for the debate on draft resolution L.20 and thanked the African Group and other co-sponsors.  It reminded that the draft resolution had been submitted at the time of a precarious security situation in the country, which had paralysed economic activity with a very negative impact on human rights.  Some 40 per cent of hospitals in Libya were not functioning properly and did not have enough medicines and vaccinations.  Many children required psychological help.  There was not enough training for demining. 
 
Ecuador, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, stated that the efforts of the Government of Libya to fight terrorists ought to be supported by peaceful means.  States were urged to continue to apply the global strategy of the United Nations against terrorism.  Ecuador joined the consensus on the resolution and asked Libya to continue its efforts to promote and protect human rights.
 
Switzerland, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, was seriously concerned by violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Libya, which was why it was co-sponsoring the draft resolution.  It was hoped that it would be adopted on the basis of consensus.
 
Action on Resolution on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for Mali in the Field of Human Rights
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.22) on technical assistance and capacity building for Mali in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council calls upon the Government of Mali to continue and to increase its efforts to protect human rights and to promote national reconciliation;  calls on all signatories of the Peace Agreement and national reconciliation to maintain a constructive dialogue and to fully implement all provisions; and requests all parties to ensure their strict observance of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.  The Council decides to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali for a period of one year; calls upon all parties in Mali to cooperate fully with the Independent Expert and to assist him to carry out his mandate; and decides to hold an interactive dialogue at its thirty-fourth session in the presence of the Independent Expert and the Government of Mali, in order to assess the evolution of the situation of human rights in the country, with a particular focus on justice and reconciliation.
 
South Africa, introducing resolution L.22 on behalf of the African Group, said the resolution was an update of resolutions adopted by the Council since the crisis in the country began in 2012.  The resolution aimed to reinforce the capacities of Malian authorities in the management of post-conflict human rights situations and to renew the mandate of the relevant Independent Expert.  The draft reflected the latest evolutions on the ground, which were enumerated, and which included actions to fight impunity.

Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union in a general comment, stated that some positive steps had been seen in Mali recently, but the security situation was still  a matter of concern and violations of human rights continued.  Netherlands urged the authorities of Mali to ensure the protection of human rights and national reconciliation.  It was necessary to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert. 
 
Mali, speaking as the concerned country, said that the draft resolution under discussion was an update of previous resolutions.  Mali paid tribute to the Human Rights Council, which had supported Mali from the beginning of the crisis there.  The Government of Mali expressed its gratitude to all members of the Council for having renewed the mandate of the Independent Expert.  The Malian authorities fully understood the challenges ahead and were hoping that they would manage to overcome them, with the help of the international community. 
 
Action on Resolution on Strengthening Technical Cooperation and Advisory Services for Guinea
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.23) on strengthening technical cooperation and advisory services for Guinea, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council  encourages the Guinean authorities to continue their efforts to mainstream human rights into all government policies and to bring national legislation fully in line with international commitments of Guinea; calls on the Guinean authorities to continue their efforts to consolidate  freedoms of peaceful assembly and association and freedom of expression; and urges all political actors to continue to engage actively and in good faith in the political dialogue.  The Council also urges the Government of Guinea to take additional measures to support the work of the panel of judges appointed to investigate the events of 28 September 2009; and strongly reiterates its call on the international community to provide the Government of Guinea with appropriate assistance to promote respect for human rights, the fight against impunity and reform of security and justice sector, as well as ongoing initiatives to promote truth, justice and national reconciliation.
 
South Africa, speaking on behalf of the African Group, introduced resolution L.23 on strengthening technical cooperation and advisory services in Guinea.  The current draft was an update of the resolution adopted during the twenty-eighth session in March 2015.  It recognised significant progress made in the last year by the country in the field of the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which remained the main concern of the Council.  Some positive achievements registered by Guinea were listed, which included progress in the fight against impunity.  
 
Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union in a general comment, said that some positive developments had been noted in Guinea recently, including strengthening the judiciary and the rule of law.  The country still faced some challenges, such as fighting impunity.  The resolution would provide support to the Government in dealing with the issue of impunity.
 
Guinea, speaking as the concerned country, expressed gratitude to the African Group for the work on the draft resolution.  It would help Guinea move in the right direction.  The Council had always helped Guinea.
 
Action on Presidential Statement on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti
 
In a Presidential Statement (A/HRC/31/L.40) on the situation of human rights in Haiti, adopted without a vote, the Council encourages Haiti to continue to fully cooperate with the human rights treaty bodies; also encourages the State to ratify the pending conventions; and encourages Haitian political actors to respect the terms of the Political Agreement of 6 February 2016.  The Council urges the Government to continue working on strengthening the rule of law, notably in the fight against impunity, corruption and crime; and encourages the Government to reinforce national institutions working on the protection of human rights.  The Council also encourages the international community to strengthen cooperation and coordination with the Haitian authorities with the view of a full realization of all human rights in Haiti.  The Council welcomes and approves the request of the Haitian authorities for a one-year extension of the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, within the framework of technical assistance and capacity-building; and requests the Independent Expert to present to the Council at its thirty-fourth session his report on the situation of human rights in Haiti.
 
The concerned country, Haiti, did not have any comments on resolution L.40.
 
Russian Federation, in an explanation of the vote after the vote on L.22, stated that experts ought to adhere to resolution 5.2 of the Council on the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures.  
 
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 Effects of Terrorism on the Enjoyment of All Human Rights
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.13/Rev.1) on the effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of all human rights, adopted by a vote of 28 in favour, 14 against, and five abstentions, the Council strongly condemns all terrorist acts as criminal and unjustifiable, and expresses grave concern at their detrimental effects on the enjoyment of human rights; urges States, while countering terrorism, to respect and protect all human rights, bearing in mind that certain counter-terrorism measures may have an impact on the enjoyment of those rights; and also urges States to take appropriate measures to duly investigate the incitement, preparation or commission of acts of terrorism, and to bring to justice those engaged in such acts.  The Council urges States to adopt rehabilitation and reintegration strategies for returning foreign terrorist fighters, in line with the good practices set out in the Hague – Marrakech Memorandum of the Global Counterterrorism Forum; and urges States and the international community to take measures, including through education, awareness-raising, the media and human rights education and training, to effectively address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. 
 
The results of the vote were as follows:
 
In favour (28): Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Maldives, Morocco, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Togo, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.
 
Against (14): Albania, Belgium, France, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
 
Abstentions (5): Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Namibia, and Panama.
 
 
Egypt, introducing draft resolution L.13/Rev.1, on the effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of all human rights, said the world had witnessed barbarities affecting peoples and individuals in Africa, Asia and Europe, the last of which were Belgium and Turkey in an endless chain of miserable and deplorable incidents.  The recent terrorist acts put a demand on the Council to consider the issue from all approaches.  Terrorism clearly had a real and direct impact on human rights.  Terrorism also aimed at destabilising governments and jeopardized peace.  The resolution in no way attempted to set a hierarchy among human rights.  Last year, the Council had adopted an historic resolution, 28/17, in which it reacted to the wave of terrorism, which was adopted by a vote.  The resolution mentioned no region or religion and named no specific group.  Eleven of the resolution’s aims were enumerated, which included that all States had to ensure that any measures taken to counter terrorism should be in line with national legislation and in conformity with international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Morocco, in a general comment, condemned recent terrorist attacks  and stressed the need to send out a strong message that terrorists would never win.  Morocco underlined the importance of fighting terrorism while respecting international human rights law.  It was important to deconstruct the jihadist discourse, Morocco said, recalling that the Rabat Plan contained recommendations for the fight against violent extremism with the involvement of all stakeholders. 
 
Ecuador, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, condemned all terrorist acts and said that it would vote in favour of the resolution.  Counter-terrorism measures had to fully respect human rights.  Ecuador disassociated itself from preambular paragraph 8 because human rights protection had to prevail over anything else.  Also, Ecuador disassociated itself from operative paragraph 8 because this paragraph acknowledged that collateral damage could happen. 
 
Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the European Union had paid a heavy price to terrorism.  Victims should be provided with proper support.  All acts of terrorism were unequivocally condemned, but efforts against terrorism needed to pay full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.  A resolution to that effect had been adopted at the June 2015 session of the Council.  Distinction should be made between individual terrorist attacks and the responsibility of States to protect human rights.  Terrorists were criminals and should be treated as such.  The current text did not strike an appropriate balance between legitimate security concerns of States and the need to protect human rights.  The European Union could thus not support the draft resolution, but was ready to work on building a consensus in the future.
 
South Africa, in an explanation of the vote before the vote,  cautioned against extreme measures of the so-called war against terror, which included deplorable forms of torture and illegal detention.  South Africa was concerned that no distinction was made in the draft between terrorists and national liberation fighters.  South Africa reiterated its support to the peoples of Palestine and Western Sahara in their legitimate struggle.  South Africa would vote against the draft resolution. 
 
Mexico, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that Mexico vehemently condemned terrorist attacks and deplored the suffering caused by terrorism.  Adopting appropriate measures to fight terrorism was a joint responsibility, but Mexico did not share the spirit of the text as the initiative did not reflect the remit of the Human Rights Council, which was the promotion and protection of human rights, including in the most difficult situations States faced.  Mexico would vote against the draft resolution.
 
Belgium, in explanation of the vote before the vote, said that in the current difficult circumstances, Belgium wished to make a statement.  The Belgian people were touched by the solidarity expressed toward them, and all were thanked for their messages.  Belgium had been struck by cowardly and blind attacks, and it was not just one nation and one people which had been attacked--over 49 nationalities were among those killed or injured--it was a system of values which had been attacked, as well as democracy and peaceful coexistence.  The international community could not be guided by fear, its responsibility was to pursue the establishment of a framework which preserved its values.  Belgium had been the victim of a terrorist attack, but called for Members of the Council to vote against the text, which sent the wrong message for how challenges should be tackled.
 
Switzerland, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, vigorously condemned all terrorist acts, and stressed that the international community must act to prevent and combat terrorism.  The draft resolution only focused on certain aspects of the problem, and did not fully respect the responsibility of States to protect human rights.  Regrettably, Switzerland would vote against this text. 
 
Action on Resolution on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment - Safeguards to Prevent Torture during Police Custody and Pre-trial Detention
 
In a resolution (A/HRC/31/L.26/Rev.1) on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment - safeguards to prevent torture during police custody and pre-trial detention, adopted without a vote, the Council urges all States that have not yet done so to become parties to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and to give early consideration to signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol thereto as a matter of priority; also urges States to adopt, implement and fully comply with legal and procedural safeguards against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and calls upon States in the context of criminal proceedings to ensure access to lawyers from the outset of custody and during all interrogations and judicial proceedings.  The Council urges States during reviews of domestic interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practices to ensure that they observe their international obligations and safeguards against torture; and calls upon States to include education and information regarding the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment  in the training of law enforcement personnel.  The Council also requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights to convene, in 2017, an intersessional, full-day seminar, with the objective of exchanging national experiences and practices on the implementation of effective safeguards to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment during police custody and pre-trial detention.
 
Denmark, introducing L.26/Rev.1, as orally revised, said that the text, which had 70 co-sponsors, stressed the absolute prohibition of torture.  Denmark had a long tradition as an advocate against torture, and the current text focused on pre-trial custody.  The draft text was pertinent and could help eliminate torture during early stages of detention.  The text stressed the importance of having appropriate guidelines for investigation and having right safeguards in place to prevent torture.  The draft resolution requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize a full-day seminar in which States would exchange views.  
 
Netherlands, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, expressed its full support to the text, and its commitment to stand against any form of torture and ill-treatment.  The text put much needed attention on the need for safeguards to prevent torture during detention, and to ensure access to legal representation for detainees.  The European Union also fully supported the organization of an international seminar on this issue. 
 
Switzerland, in a general comment, stressed the importance of measures to prevent torture in the early stage of detention or pre-trial detention.  Switzerland regretted that some delegations had, during the negotiations, put forward some language that was not in line with international standards and that would have weakened the text.  Switzerland underlined the importance of the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the “Nelson Mandela Rules”).
 
Algeria, in a general comment, supported the draft resolution, which was in line with the most recent measures undertaken by the Government of Algeria.  The crime of torture had now been included in the entire legislative framework, and cameras were placed in the places of detention.  Algeria hoped the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus.
 
Saudi Arabia, speaking on behalf of a number of countries in a general comment, said that torture was an act that should not be tolerated.  Continuous efforts were being made to prevent the acts of torture.  Saudi Arabia, nonetheless, had some serious systemic concerns, including the reference to the report of the Special Rapporteur on torture.  The report included 65 references to sexual orientation and was an attempt to use the eradication of torture to promote other issues, which lacked any ground in international law.   The draft text did not faithfully reflect the position of the Council towards the report, so the group of countries would dissociate itself from operative paragraph 20.
 
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