18 September 2020
Calls Upon the Belarusian Authorities to Enter into a Dialogue with the Political Opposition
The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted a resolution on the situation of human rights in Belarus in the run up to the 2020 presidential election and its aftermath.
In the resolution (A/HRC/45/L.1), adopted by a vote of 23 in favour, 2 against and 22 abstentions, the Council calls upon the Belarusian authorities to enter into a dialogue with the political opposition, including the Coordination Council and civil society, in order to guarantee respect for human rights law, including civil and political rights. The Council urges the Belarusian authorities to fulfil their obligations under international human rights law, in particular with regard to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, the prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and freedom of opinion and expression, both online and offline, including its obligations related to freedom of the media and freedom of information. It further urges Belarus to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, in particular by granting her free, full and unhindered access to the territory of the country, including unhindered access to all places of detention, and to extend full cooperation to the thematic special procedures of the Human Rights Council. The Council also requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor closely the situation of human rights in Belarus in the context of the 2020 presidential election, to present to the Human Rights Council, before the end of 2020, an interim oral update on that situation, with recommendations, to be followed by an interactive dialogue, and to submit a comprehensive written report on the situation of human rights in Belarus in the lead-up to, during and after the 2020 presidential election during an enhanced interactive dialogue at the forty-sixth session of the Council.
The results of the vote were as follows :
For (23) : Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark ,Fiji, Germany, Italy, Japan, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine and Uruguay.
Against (2) : Eritrea and Venezuela.
Abstentions (22) : Angola, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan and Togo.
Germany introduced the draft resolution on behalf of the European Union.
Belarus spoke as a concerned country.
In the ensuing discussion, the following countries took the floor : Russian Federation, Germany on behalf of the European Union, and Venezuela.
Prior to adopting the resolution, the Council considered and rejected 17 amendments, all of which were tabled by the Russian Federation.
The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here. All meeting summaries can be found here. Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council’s forty-fifth regular session can be found here.
The Council will meet again at 9 a.m. on Monday, 21 September, to hold an interactive dialogue with the Working Group on arbitrary detention.
For use of the information media; not an official record