NEWS RELEASES - The 35th session of the Human Rights Council is closing this Friday, the 23rd of June 2017. The last two days, the Human Rights Council took care of adopting resolutions and conclusions. What were the main decisions of the Human Rights Council after three weeks of reviewing Human Rights issues in the world?
At the time of the publication of this article, the Human Rights Council has not finished adopting resolutions but it is already possible to have an overview of what mattered in this 35th session of the Human Rights Council. An important number of topics has been at the agenda of the Human Rights Council for its 35th session: “sexual orientation and gender identity”, “health”, the rights of women or “international solidarity”. The Human Rights Council’s work was also focused on the situation of some countries as the Syrian Arab Republic, Belarus, Eritrea, Myanmar, Burundi, Ukraine, Georgia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Significant Resolution already adopted
Overall the Human Rights Council already adopted some important resolution. The council adopted without a vote the resolution A_HRC_35_L.32 proposed by Bangladesh, Philippines and Vietnam on Human Rights and Climate Change. A resolution emphasizing the crucial link between climate change and Human Rights. As the impact of climate change create events “that have adverse effects on the full enjoyment of all human rights”, the issue of climate change is included in the work of the Human Right Council. The resolution also encourages the OHCHR in helping states implementing United Nations Conventions frameworks on climate change.
Moreover the Human Rights Council adopted with a vote: 32 yes, 11 no and 4 abstention a resolution concerning the promotion of the right to peace. Resolution A_HRC_35_L.4 aims to promote peace as an individual and collective right and support the fact “that peace is not only the absence of conflict but also requires a positive, dynamic participatory process”. A resolution promoting peace as Human Rights and not only a matter of security.
Moreover the Human Rights Council adopted without a vote a resolution proposed by Germany and the Philippines concerning the extension of the Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children. The resolution A_HRC_35_L.6 reaffirming that the issue of trafficking in human being is still a current problem which explained the need for the extension of the Mandate of the Special Rapporteur.
- Significant resolutions still in discussion
At the Heart of the Human Rights Council the situation in the Kasaï -regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo- was one of the most worrying. The Human Rights Council has not come to conclusion on this matter yet. Two proposition of resolution were made by different groups on country on two possible options in the worrying situation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
-a resolution was proposed by Malta on behalf of the European Union concerning the creation of an United Nations mission to investigate on the situation in the Kasaï and work on the accountability of the militia and other individuals committing human rights violation. Unfortunately, this resolution A_HRC_35_L.37 which was the guarantee for an independent investigation on the Kasaï has been withdrawn.
-the other proposition comes from Tunisia on behalf of the group of African States, the resolution A_HRC_35_L.36 entitled Technical assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and accountability concerning the events in the Kasai regions, is a resolution that will ensure a technical assistance given by the United Nations and the Human Rights Council in the investigation the Democratic Republic of the Congo is committed to. The investigation in this resolution will be led by the DRC state and supported by the United Nations but not lead by the United Nations. The Human Rights Council will take a decision on this resolution at the end of the 35th of the Human Rights Council.
Other significant resolutions have not been discussed yet as the resolution proposed by Mexico concerning the Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (A_HRC_35_L.27) or the resolution A_HRC_35_L.50 concerning the Human Rights situation in Ivory Coast.
The Human Rights Council demonstrated one more time that some issues are still worrying but that the Human Rights Council is bound by the good will of its member states to end impunity and Human Rights violations. The 36th session of the Human Rights Council is going to be held in September and some of these issues are going to be discussed, as the situation in Democratic Republic of the Congo or Eritrea. The Human Rights Council is a symbol of the commitment of the International Community to implement Human Rights worldwide. To conclude, despite the adoption of some key resolution, the amount of work the Council has to do is still vast.
EF - Research Assistant at CIPADH