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Council adopts 16 texts on technical assistance to Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Haiti, Yemen, Guinea and Libya

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Appoints Six Special Procedures, Establishes Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund, and Concludes Nineteenth Session

23 March 2012

The Human Rights Council this afternoon concluded its nineteenth session after adopting 16 texts concerning, among others, technical assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Haiti, Yemen, Guinea and Libya, and establishing a Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund. The Council also appointed six Special Procedures.

The texts adopted also concerned combating intolerance and negative stereotyping, integrity of the justice system, unilateral coercive measures, enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights, the right to development, the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests, human rights and democracy and the rule of law, the rights of the child, and the negative impact of the non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin to the countries of origin on the enjoyment of human rights.

The Council elected Cecilia Rachel Quisumbing as a member of the Advisory Committee. The Council appointed Pablo de Greiff as Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantee of non-recurrence; Paulo Pinheiro as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Syria; Alfred de Zayas as Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order; Mashood Baderin as Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan; and Danfred Tutus as member of the Expert Mechanism on the rights of indigenous peoples.

With respect to the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the strengthening of technical cooperation and advisory services, the Council urged the Government to redouble its efforts to expeditiously put an end to all violations of human rights and invited the Office of the High Commissioner to increase and enhance its technical assistance programmes.

On assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights, the Council called on all parties to ensure that the progress made at the London Conference on Somalia held on 23 February 2012 was consolidated, welcomed the intention of Turkey to hold a conference on Somalia in Istanbul, and requested the Secretary General to submit to a report assessing current United Nations support.

Concerning the situation of human rights in Haiti, the Council agreed to the Haitian authorities' request seeking the extension for one year of the mission of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti until March 2013. The Council welcomed the recent legal and political developments in Haiti.

The Council also adopted a resolution on the subject of technical assistance and capacity-building for Yemen in the field of human rights. The Council supported the invitation by the Government of Yemen to establish a country office of the High Commissioner and looked forward to further progress by the Government of Yemen regarding the implementation of transparent and independent investigations.

The Council encouraged the Government of Guinea to accelerate implementation of the recommendations of the International Commission of Inquiry, and called on the Guinean authorities and the political opposition to work together to define a timetable for holding elections and ensure the electoral process provides protection for human rights.

The Council, on the issue of assistance to Libya in the field of human rights, requested the Office of the High Commissioner, in collaboration with the transitional Government of Libya, to explore ways of cooperation in the field of human rights, including technical assistance and capacity-building.

The Council decided to establish the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the work of the Human Rights Council, which would provide funding for training and capacity-building, travel and accommodation for Government officials to participate in Human Rights Council activities.

The Council adopted ad referendum the draft report of the nineteenth session.

Introducing resolutions were Pakistan, Senegal, Maldives, Netherlands, Barbados, Morocco, Somalia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Egypt, Switzerland, Romania, Tunisia, Uruguay and Morocco.

Speaking in general comment were United States, Belgium, Cuba, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Russian Federation, Uganda, Kuwait, Italy, Mauritania, Qatar, Hungary, Jordan and Botswana.

Mauritania, Belgium, Ecuador, China, Norway, United States, Switzerland and Maldives spoke in explanation of the vote before the vote and explanation of the vote after the vote.

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Yemen, Republic of Guinea and Libya spoke as concerned countries.

Taking the floor after the adoption of resolutions were the following observer States: Venezuela, Brazil, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Egypt, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. The following non-governmental organizations also took the floor: International Service for Human Rights in a joint statement, Indian Council of South America and Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peoples.

The twentieth session of the Human Rights Council will be held from 18 June to 6 July 2012.

Action on Resolution on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance Action on Resolution on Combating Intolerance and Negative Stereotyping

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.7) regarding combating 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 expresses deep concern at the continued serious instances of derogatory stereotyping, negative profiling and stigmatization of persons based on their religion or belief, as well as programmes and agendas pursued by extremist organizations and groups aimed at creating and perpetuating negative stereotypes about religious groups, in particular when condoned by Governments; condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audio-visual or electronic media or any other means; 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; to encourage the representation and meaningful participation of individuals, irrespective of their religion, in all sectors of society; to make a strong effort to counter religious profiling, which is understood to be the invidious use of religion as a criterion in conducting questionings, searches and other law enforcement investigative procedures; and calls upon States to adopt measures and policies to promote the full respect for and protection of places of worship and religious sites.

Pakistan, introducing draft resolution L.7 on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that the draft resolution was a technical update of resolution 18 that was adopted by consensus at the sixteenth session of the Human Rights Council. The adoption of resolution 18 was a major step forward in dealing with religious intolerance and interrelated issues that were of vital concern for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and for the Human Rights Council. It was important now to take concrete steps at the national and international levels towards the implementation of the resolution with particular reference to the eight point approach outlined therein. The resolution should be seen as the first step in the process rather than an end in itself.

United States, speaking in a general comment, said this marked the one-year anniversary of the resolution which was a significant step forward on this important issue. The United States strongly supported the resolution, which demonstrated the desire of the international community to take action on shared challenges in a constructive and affirmative manner. Adoption of the resolution had to be followed by sustained commitment.

Action on Resolutions on Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building

Action on Resolution on the Voluntary Trust Fund for Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.6) regarding a Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to support the participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the work of the Human Rights Council, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to establish the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the work of the Human Rights Council; requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to make arrangements for the operationalization of the Trust Fund; and decides that the Trust Fund will be used to support the participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the work of the Human Rights Council by providing funding for training and capacity-building, travel and accommodation for Government officials to participate in Human Rights Council sessions, fellowship programmes, and induction training.

Senegal, introducing draft resolution L.6 on behalf of the African Group, said the draft resolution was based on resolution 16/21 and had over 100 co-sponsors which demonstrated the broad support it enjoyed in the Council.

Maldives, introducing draft resolution L.6, said it was a main sponsor of the resolution to establish a Voluntary Trust Fund to support the participation of least developed countries and small island developing States in key human rights bodies. This voluntary fund would be one of the most important innovations since the creation of the Human Rights Council.

Netherlands, introducing draft resolution L.6, said it participated in the preparation of the resolution and said that the Voluntary Trust Fund would brighten up the colour of the contribution to the Council’s work. The Netherlands stressed that even a small donation by Member States would make a large difference in the ability of small States to participate.

Barbados, introducing draft resolution L.6, said it joined other members of the core group for the support shown for the resolution on the establishment of a Voluntary Trust Fund to support least developed countries and small island developing States. Real challenges prevented the ability of small island countries to participate more fully in the work of the Council and the fund would improve the ability of these countries to do so.

Morocco, introducing draft resolution L.6, said the draft resolution would be a step forward in the work of the Human Rights Council to guarantee universality by allowing least developed countries and small island States to participate in the work of the Council. Morocco was convinced of the positive impact that international cooperation could have in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Action on Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.15/Rev.1) regarding the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the strengthening of technical cooperation and advisory services, adopted without a vote, the Council notes with concern the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, mainly in the eastern part of the country, resulting from abuse committed by foreign and national armed groups opposing the peace process; strongly supports the efforts of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to put an end to the cycle of impunity by strengthening its justice system; notes with concern cases of electoral and sexual violence, and notes with appreciation the progress made by the authorities on the conviction of perpetrators and the provision of reparations to victims; thanks the Government for hosting the visit to the country from 25 July to 5 August 2011 of the independent expert on the effects of foreign debt; urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to redouble its efforts to expeditiously put an end to all violations of human rights and bring perpetrators to justice; invites the Office of the High Commissioner, through its presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to increase and enhance its technical assistance programmes and activities requested by the Government; and calls upon the international community to support the national efforts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a view to improving the human rights situation in the country, and to respond to its requests for technical assistance.

Senegal, introducing draft resolution L.15/Rev.1 on behalf of the African Group, said the resolution was the product of numerous consultations. The issues of taking up follow-up at the twenty-fourth session of the Council as well as transitional justice were covered in the resolution. The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Government would assess the National Plan of Action. The resolution also dealt with technical assistance, which the country was in great need of. Senegal made oral amendments L.15/Rev.1.

Belgium, speaking in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, said the European Union remained concerned about the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Human rights violations took many forms, such as arbitrary and extrajudicial executions, sexual violence, torture, and arbitrary arrests, to list just a few. In reviewing the resolution, the European Union agreed to take account of the challenges present in the country and the willingness of the Government to undertake reforms. It was on this basis that the European Union was able to accept that the review would take place at the twenty-fourth session. The European Union would have liked the resolution to have explored encouraging the authorities to cooperate with the International Criminal Court and to have taken note of the violations of security forces.

Democratic Republic of the Congo, speaking as the concerned country, warmly thanked the members of the Council for their spirit of openness in drafting the resolution on strengthening technical assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Government would continue with reforms in good governance, the fight against impunity in human rights violations, reform of the judiciary and prison sector, the fight for the rights of women and children, and the fight for economic and social rights. The report on the recent elections had not been objective and was aimed at discrediting the Government. A different report had been published by the Government and was made available to all States. The Government counted on the support of the international community in the provision of technical assistance.

Action on Resolution on Assistance to Somalia in the Field of Human Rights

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.28) regarding assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council expresses its continued serious concern at the human rights and humanitarian situation in Somalia; strongly condemns the grave and systematic human rights abuses perpetrated against the civilian population, in particular by Al Shabab and its affiliates; and calls for their immediate cessation; urges all parties to take immediate steps to protect and end abuses and violations committed against children; in particular calls for an immediate end to the unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers; stresses the primary responsibility of the Transitional Federal Government to implement the Somalia End of Transition Roadmap; welcomes the valuable role of women in efforts to build a better future for Somalia; calls on Somalia to take steps, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, to achieving the full realisation of economic, social and cultural rights; calls on Somalia to fulfil its obligations under international human rights law; calls on all parties to ensure that the progress made at the London Conference on Somalia held on 23 February 2012 is consolidated through effective action, and in this regard welcomes the intention of the Government of Turkey to hold a conference on Somalia in Istanbul; requests the Secretary General to submit to the Council at its twenty-first session a report assessing current United Nations support for efforts in Somalia to end all human rights abuses and combat impunity; urges all parties to facilitate rapid and unhindered humanitarian access; and requests the High Commissioner to continue providing the independent expert with all the human, technical and financial assistance necessary to carry out his mandate.

Somalia, introducing draft resolution L.28/Rev.1, said the resolution was intended to capitalize on the Conference on Somalia held in London in February 2012. This achieved its aim of forging a unified international voice on Somalia. The resolution welcomed the London Conference, especially its conclusions regarding Somalia and the roadmap on Somalia, which emphasized the equal participation of women as well as the importance of human rights. The resolution asked the Secretary-General to prepare a proposal on a more integrated approach for supporting efforts in Somalia to promote and protect human rights. The resolution appreciated the role of the Human Rights Council in providing technical assistance. The resolution noted the importance of sustainable development in supporting peace in Somalia. Stabilization in Yemen was also important, given how interrelated the two peoples were.

United Kingdom, introducing draft resolution L.28/Rev.1, said the United Kingdom was pleased to host the conference on Somalia in February. It was important to take advantage of the momentum. The Conference affirmed that human rights had to be at the heart of the peace process and that efforts had to be stepped up in this aim. The United Kingdom hoped the resolution would play a valuable role in helping Somalia address human rights and create peace and security in the country.

Mauritania, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group in an explanation of the vote before the vote, reaffirmed the Arab Group’s commitment to all measures to establish peace in Somalia and praised the work of all those who had participated in drafting the text.

Action on Presidential Statement on Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building for Haiti

In a Presidential Statement (A/HRC/19/L.32) regarding the situation of human rights in Haiti, adopted without a vote, the Council agrees to the Haitian authorities' request seeking the extension for one year of the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti until March 2013; requests the Independent Expert to work with international institutions, donors and the international community in order to lend their expertise and resources to the efforts of Haitian authorities in the country's reconstruction; invites the Independent Expert to contribute its experience, expertise and contribution to the cause of human rights in Haiti, with particular emphasis on economic, social and cultural rights; and also invites the Independent Expert to report to it in June 2013. The Council welcomes the recent legal and political developments in Haiti, notably the appointment of 11 of the 12 judges of the highest court, the Court of Cassation; also welcomes projects being carried out by the Haitian authorities to build houses for victims of the earthquake of 12 January 2010; and welcomes the creation of a special fund for the education of children in Haiti. The Council recognizes the many obstacles to development in Haiti and the difficulties encountered by its leaders in the daily management of public affairs; recognizes that the full enjoyment of civil and political, economic, social and cultural human rights is a factor depending upon peace, stability and progress in Haiti. The Council encourages the international community as a whole, particularly international donors, the Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries, friendly countries of Haiti and United Nations specialized agencies, to strengthen their cooperation with the Haitian authorities to assist the full realization of human rights.

Haiti, speaking as the concerned country on the draft Presidential Statement, said the Independent Expert on human rights in Haiti had provided support to the people of Haiti in fight for the full protection of human rights. The nomination and taking of office of the judges of the Court of Cessation was a positive step signalling the restoration of the judicial system. A court decision to convict individuals for acts of violence following the earthquake was a sign of the Government’s commitment to fight against impunity. The Government was working to resolve the problem of preventive and pre-trial detention and had built new prisons to address overcrowding in the prison system. The Government had encouraged foreign businessmen to invest in the country. The authorities in Haiti had decided to extend for one year the mandate of the Independent Expert on human rights in the country and urged all members of the Council to approve the Presidential Statement on the situation of human rights in Haiti.

Action on Resolution on Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building for Yemen

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.37/Rev.1) regarding technical assistance and capacity-building for Yemen in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council welcomes and supports the invitation by the Government of Yemen to establish a country office of the High Commissioner with a mandate to promote and protect human rights; looks forward to further progress by the Government of Yemen regarding the implementation of its announcement that it will launch transparent and independent investigations into credible documented allegations of human rights violations through an independent national committee and in consultation with political parties, and calls upon all parties to release persons arbitrarily detained by them and to end any practices of unlawful detention of persons; calls upon the international community to provide financial support for the Yemen humanitarian response plan of 2012 and the joint United Nations stabilization plan; requests the High Commissioner to provide technical assistance and to work with the Government of Yemen, as needed; and requests the High Commissioner to present to the Council, at its twenty-first session, a progress report on the situation of human rights in Yemen and on the follow-up to the present resolution and Council resolution 18/19.

Netherlands, introducing draft resolution L.37/Rev.1, said the draft text was an active resolution that European countries had been working on for a long time. The resolution put forward the process being made in Yemen at the moment.

Yemen, speaking as the concerned country, said the draft resolution welcomed the transitional process underway in Yemen. It took note of the report of the High Commissioner and the replies and comments made by the Government of Yemen in the report. The draft resolution called for the release of persons detained arbitrarily. It asked the international community to support Yemen during the transition period and provide financial support in order to strengthen stability in the country.

Action on Resolution on Strengthening Technical Cooperation and Advisory Services in Guinea

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.40) regarding strengthening technical cooperation and advisory services in Guinea, adopted without a vote, the Council notes the creation of an interim national commission for reconciliation and an independent commission for human rights; further notes the Government's cooperation with the High Commissioner for Human Rights plans to open an office in Conakry; encourages the Government of Guinea to accelerate implementation of the recommendations of the International Commission of Inquiry appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to adopt additional measures in the prosecution of those responsible for the events of September 28, 2009, which included sexual violence committed against women and girls, and to provide assistance, adequate reparation and compensation for the injured, survivors of the violence, and families of victims who lost their lives on that day. The Council reiterates its appeal to the Guinean authorities to reform national legislation under the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which Guinea ratified on July 14, 2003; calls on the Guinean authorities and the political opposition to work together to define a timetable for holding elections and ensure the electoral process provides protection for freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of assembly and association; strongly reiterates its call for the international community to provide appropriate assistance to the Guinean authorities to promote respect for human rights and support the Office of the High Commissioner in Guinea; and invites the High Commissioner to report to its March 2013 session on the situation of human rights and the activities of her office in Guinea.

Senegal, introducing draft resolution L.40 on behalf of the African Group, said that the resolution had taken into account the progress achieved in Guinea in establishing the rule of law and the protection of fundamental freedoms. The resolution called upon the international community to strengthen technical assistance to Guinea and for the Office of the High Commissioner to submit a report on the progress made by her office in the country.

Guinea, speaking as the concerned country, said the protection and promotion of human rights was a strong tool to fight and eradicate the ills that undermined harmonious development. One year after the Presidential elections and the Ouagadougou Accords, the Government had shown its willingness to engage with the international community and had produced tangible results. The Government appealed for the continued need for the provision of technical assistance to assist Guinea to establish an independent judiciary and to fight against impunity.

Action on Resolutions Under 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 Integrity of the Justice System

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.5/Rev.1) regarding integrity of the justice system, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council urges States to guarantee that all persons brought to trial before courts or tribunals under their authority have the right to be tried in their presence, to defend themselves in person or through legal assistance of their own choosing and to have all the guarantees necessary for their legal defence; calls upon States to ensure that the principles of equality before the courts and before the law are respected within their judicial systems; calls upon States that have military courts or special tribunals for trying criminal offenders to ensure that such bodies are an integral part of the general judicial system and that such courts apply due process procedures that are recognized according to international law as guarantees of a fair trial; and requests the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers to take full account of the present resolution in the discharge of her mandate and to make relevant recommendations in her annual report to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-third session.

Russian Federation, introducing draft resolution L.5/Rev. 1, said the resolution was aimed at strengthening all categories of human rights at the national level through the judiciary. The text called upon States that had military courts and special tribunal systems to integrate these courts into the general judiciary system to ensure that due process procedures were guaranteed. The Russian Federation introduced minor amendments to the text.

Belgium, speaking in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, said that judicial systems varied throughout the world but the independence and impracticality of the judiciary were necessary for an equitable justice system. The European Union regretted that the main sponsor had made last minute changes which made consensus on the text more complicated. This resolution should not be used to restrict the work of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of courts and judges and with this understanding, the European Union would join consensus on the resolution.

United States, speaking in a general comment, said it was with regret that the United States must dissociate itself from the consensus on the resolution. The United States had negotiated in good faith and participated in the consultations on the draft text. The United States had been ready to join consensus on the text but the oral amendments included inaccurate language related to military courts and tribunals. This required the United States to disassociate itself. Integrity of the judicial system was an important element in respect of the rule of law. The United States supported the important procedural guarantees found in the resolution, which were enshrined in international law and formed the bedrock of the American judicial system. The United States’ military tribunals were in accordance with international standards and were consistent with the principles expressed in the resolution. Disassociation in no way indicated the lack of commitment of the United States on this issue.

Action on Resolution on Human Rights and Unilateral Coercive Measures

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.12) regarding human rights and unilateral coercive measures, adopted by a vote of 35 in favour, 12 against and no abstentions as orally revised, the Council expressed deep concern that unilateral coercive measures continue to be implemented by resorting to war and militarism; condemns the continued unilateral application and enforcement by certain powers of such measures as tools of political or economic pressure against any country, particularly against developing countries, with a view to preventing these countries from exercising their right to decide their own political, economic and social systems; calls upon all States to stop adopting or implementing unilateral coercive measures not in accordance with international law, international humanitarian law or the Charter of the United Nations; strongly objects to the extraterritorial nature of those measures which, in addition, threaten the sovereignty of States and calls upon all Member States neither to recognize these measures nor to apply them; and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to organize, prior to the twenty-first session of the Human Rights Council, a workshop on the impact of the application of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights by the affected populations in the States targeted, with the participation of States, academic experts, and civil society representatives and to prepare a summary of the proceedings of the workshop and submit it to the Council at its twenty-third session.

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (35): Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Thailand, Uganda and Uruguay.

Against (12): Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and United States.

Abstentions (0):

Egypt, introducing draft resolution L.12 on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said the text called on States to stop adopting and implementing unilateral coercive measures that were not in line with international human rights and humanitarian laws. Unilateral coercive measures in the form of economic sanctions could have harmful socio-economic impacts on the countries to which they were applied and could impede the full enjoyment of human rights. The resolution called for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize a workshop on the negative impacts of unilateral coercive measures on developing countries and to prepare a report on the outcome of the workshop.

Belgium, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote on behalf of the European Union Member States that were members of the Council, recognized that unilateral coercive measures in the form of economic sanctions could have far-reaching implications for the human rights of the general population of targeted States. The introduction of economic sanctions should always be undertaken in accordance with international law and with respect to human rights and fundamental freedoms. Sanctions should provide appropriate exemptions to take account of the basic needs of targeted persons. The resolution dwelled essentially on relations between States instead of on the concrete human rights of individuals. The European Union recalled its position that the Council was not the appropriate forum to address the issue. The European Union could not support the resolution and called for a vote.

Action on Resolution on Enhancement of International Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.13/Rev.1) regarding enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council reiterates its request to the High Commissioner to provide the Council with an annual written update on the operations of the Voluntary Fund for Participation in the Universal Periodic Review and the Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance, and the resources available to them; requests the High Commissioner to enhance dialogue with representatives from non-traditional donor countries with a view to broaden the donor-base and replenish the resources available to both funds; also requests the High Commissioner to ensure that both funds are easily accessible to States requesting assistance; urges States to continue to support both funds; calls upon States, specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations to continue to carry out a constructive dialogue for the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms; urges States to take necessary measures to enhance bilateral, regional and international cooperation aimed at addressing the adverse impact of consecutive and compounded global crises; and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to organize, before the twenty-second session of the Human Rights Council, a seminar on the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights which will build upon the study prepared by the Advisory Committee, including the recommendations to prepare a summary of the deliberations held during the seminar and to submit it to the Council at its twenty-second session.
Egypt, introducing draft resolution L.13/Rev.1 on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said the text called on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide an annual written update on the operations of the Voluntary Fund for Participation in the Universal Periodic Review and the Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance and the resources available to them. The resolution requested the Office of the High Commissioner to enhance dialogue with representatives from non-traditional donor countries and to make clear the process by which States request assistance from both funds and to process such requests in a timely and transparent manner. The Office of the High Commissioner should also convene a seminar, before the twenty-second session of the Council, on the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights, and prepare a report on the deliberations held during the seminar.

Denmark, speaking in general comment on behalf of the European Union, said the European Union demonstrated its full commitment to the enhancement of international cooperation by providing more than half of the official development assistance worldwide. International cooperation should neither substitute national efforts in promoting and protecting human rights, nor be a condition for guaranteeing human rights. The European Union looked favourably at the idea of the authors of the resolution regarding transparency of the use of trust funds which were created in order to facilitate participation in the Universal Periodic Review mechanism and to implement recommendations emanating from the general mechanism. The European Union expressed its expectation that the requirement on providing an update on the operation of funds would not result in micromanagement of the funds.

Action on Resolution on the Right to Development

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.14) regarding the right to development, adopted by a vote of 46 in favour, none against and one abstention as orally revised, the Council requests the High Commissioner to continue to submit to it an annual report on its activities, including on inter-agency coordination within the system, regarding the promotion and realization of the right to development. The Council decides to endorse the recommendations of the Working Group on the right to development as outlined in its report; invite relevant stakeholders to submit further detailed comments and proposals on the right to development criteria and operational sub-criteria which then should be used in the elaboration of a comprehensive and coherent set of standards for the implementation of the right to development; and to invite the Chairperson/Rapporteur of the Working Group to hold informal consultations with relevant stakeholders and to report at its next session. The Council decides to review the progress of the implementation of the present resolution as a matter of priority at its future sessions.

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (46): Angola, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Ecuador, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda and Uruguay.

Against (0):

Abstentions (1): United States.

Egypt, introducing draft resolution L.14 on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said the text recognized the importance of engaging the whole system of the United Nations on discussions on the right to development. The resolution called for all United Nations bodies to contribute to the work of the Working Group on the right to development and encouraged the mainstreaming of development in all the work of the United Nations. Egypt offered oral revisions to the resolution.

United States, speaking in a general comment, said the United States was the largest single donor of bilateral assistance. The policy of the United States recognized that development was a long-term endeavour that depended on the decisions of the leaders on viable, conducive policies. International development was supported by the promotion and protection of human rights. However, the United States was not prepared to join in the development of a binding international measure and thus called for a vote on the draft resolution. The United States would abstain.

Belgium, speaking in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, emphasized the interdependence and indivisibility of human rights. The right to development required the full realization of both civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights. Development policy should make the human being the main participant and beneficiary of development. The appropriate next steps had not been decided on and the European Union was not in favour of the development of an international binding measure. The European Union supported resolution L.14 and would be voting in favour of it.

Action on the Resolution on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Context of Peaceful Protests

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.17) regarding the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council calls upon States to ensure an environment where protests may be conducted in a peaceful and lawful manner by enacting national legislation respecting international human rights law; encourages all States to explore ways of avoiding force wherever possible during peaceful protests, and where force is absolutely necessary, to restrict the use of that force to the minimum absolutely necessary; calls upon States, and where applicable relevant governmental authorities, to ensure adequate training of law enforcement officials, military personnel and private personnel acting on behalf of a State; requests the High Commissioner to prepare and submit a thematic report to the Human Rights Council, prior to its twenty-second session, on effective measures to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests, and to prevent violations and abuses; and encourages relevant thematic special procedures mandate holders, including the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, to contribute to the above-mentioned thematic report.

Switzerland, introducing draft resolution L.17, said the co-sponsors were Costa Rica and Turkey and there were a total number of 46 co-sponsors from all regional groups. The resolution requested the High Commissioner to prepare a report on best practices in promoting human rights during peaceful protests with an emphasis not only on legal measures but also on the use of force and the role of civil society, notably the role of national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations.

Action on Resolution on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.27) regarding human rights, democracy and the rule of law, adopted by a vote of 43 in favour, none against and two abstentions as orally revised, the Council stresses that democracy includes respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms; reaffirms the right of every citizen to vote and be elected at genuine periodic elections without discrimination of any kind; stresses that everyone must be able to express their grievances or aspirations, including through public and peaceful protests without fear of being injured, beaten, arbitrarily arrested and detained, tortured or killed or subjected to enforced disappearance; emphasizes the crucial role played by political parties in opposition in the proper functioning of a democracy; calls upon States to ensure a conducive environment for free and independent media; urges States to acknowledge publicly the important contribution of human rights defenders to the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and to create a safe and enabling environment for their work; stresses the need for the international community to assist and support countries emerging from conflict or undergoing democratization, as they may face special challenges in addressing legacies of human rights violations during their transition and in moving towards democratic governance and the rule of law; condemns political platforms and organizations based on racism, xenophobia or doctrines of racial superiority and related discrimination, as well as legislation and practices based on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, as incompatible with democracy and transparent and accountable governance; requests the Office of the High Commissioner, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, to draft a study on common challenges facing States in their efforts to secure democracy and the rule of law from a human rights prospective, as well as on lessons learned and best practices, and to present the study to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-second session; urges the High Commissioner to further develop its assistance programmes in the area of the promotion and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law and to provide training; requests the High Commissioner to organize a panel discussion, during the twenty-third session of the Council, on common challenges facing States in their efforts to secure democracy and the rule of law from a human rights prospective, as well as lessons learned and best practices; and also requests the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a report on the outcome of the panel discussion in the form of a summary.

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (43): Angola, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Ecuador, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, United States and Uruguay.

Against (0):

Abstentions (2): China and Cuba.

Romania, introducing draft resolution L.27 on behalf of five countries, said the dynamic of international developments revealed that an increasing number of countries chose to embrace democratic values. The resolution called upon Member States to enhance social cohesion and solidarity as important elements of democracy. The countries reaffirmed that the elimination of social exclusion, gender equality and discrimination on all accounts was essential to ensuring a functional democracy. The text invited States and regional and sub-regional organizations to strengthen co-operation with the United Nations system in order to promote democracy. The resolution also provided for a number of further steps.

Tunisia, introducing draft resolution L.27, said the sponsors tried to take into account the requests and concerns of all and was proud to see so many countries express their support. Tunisia attached special importance to democracy and the rule of law, especially at this crucial point in history for Tunisia. This draft resolution included a message that Tunisia hoped the Council could address to all countries of the world.

Romania made oral amendments to draft resolution L.27.

Cuba, speaking in a general comment, said that the co-sponsors of the resolution were neo-imperialist, colonial powers and the final version was peppered with contradictions. What was the point of a democratic political system when the people of the United States and the European Union were not consulted when public money was spent to save the banks? Cuba had worked for a participatory democratic system to build a different type of system. Cuba called for the resolution to be put to a vote.

United States, speaking in a general comment, said that the United States supported the resolution on human rights, democracy and the rule of law and understood that the operational paragraph on military courts confirmed the need for military justice systems to operate within the due process of law. The United States would vote yes for the resolution.

Peru, speaking in a general comment, supported this draft resolution because democracy and the promotion of fundamental freedoms and human rights were interdependent. The resolution reflected the requirement for Governments to work to reduce inequality, to eradicate all forms of discrimination and to achieve civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Peru was convinced that this resolution would work to consolidate the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Ecuador, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said Ecuador would vote in favour of the resolution. Ecuador was a country defined as democratic, plurinational, intercultural, independent and sovereign. Ecuador welcomed the inclusive way in which consultations were carried out. Democracy could not flourish in poverty and social exclusion or without access to education and health services. Democracy was directly linked to the right to development. Democracy was not a unique, single concept.

China, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, attached importance to the development of democracy and the rule of law. China would steadfastly develop social democracy and improve democracy. China would demonstrate the beauty of a socialist system based on the rule of law. Democracy was not based on a single model. China was against imposing one single model for democracy on all others. The Human Rights Council was not the appropriate forum for deliberation on democracy and the rule law. A significant part of the draft went beyond the mandate of the Council. China would abstain from the vote.

Action on Resolution on the Rights of the Child

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.31) regarding the rights of the child, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council expresses deep concern that more than 7.6 million children under the age of five die each year, mostly from preventable and treatable causes caused by lack of access to services and interventions; and calls upon States to take effective and appropriate legislative and other measures to prohibit and eliminate all forms of violence against children in all settings. The Council calls upon all States to: implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other instruments; mainstream the rights of the child; protect and promote the rights of the child, and to ensure non-discrimination and protection towards: the girl child, children with disabilities, migrant children, children working and/or living on the street, refugee and internally displaced children. The Council calls upon all States to ensure children live a life free from violence, enjoy all of their human rights related to identity, family relations and birth registration, are free from poverty, enjoy their right to the highest attainable standard of health and education; do not suffer child labour, and ensure protection and the human rights of children in the administration of justice. The Council condemns in the strongest terms all human rights violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict, and urges all parties to conflict to comply strictly with their obligations, end all such violations and abuses, including the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict and to seek to end impunity for perpetrators; decides to request the Secretary-General to submit to the Human Rights Council, at its twenty-second session, a report on the rights of the child; to request the High Commissioner to prepare a summary of the full-day meeting on the rights of the child before the twenty-first session of the Human Rights Council; and to focus its next full-day meeting on the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.

Uruguay, introducing draft resolution L.31 on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, said there were a total of 88 co-sponsors of the text. This omnibus resolution on the protection of the rights of the child focused on the particular challenges that children faced including discrimination, registration, forms of alternative care, the rights to education, health and food, the right to a life without violence and the sexual exploitation of minors. The text paid particular attention to children and the administrative of justice and highlighted the need to prohibit both life and death sentences for juveniles.

United States, speaking in a general comment, was pleased to join the consensus on the resolution. This resolution highlighted the important issue of the protection of children in almost every aspect of life and called on States to ensure that children were protected in all situations. Regarding abducted children, the United States believed it was in the child’s best interests to return the child to his or her country of residence before abduction. The resolution did not imply that States had to join treaties to which they were not originally a party.

Saudi Arabia, speaking in a general comment on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, supported the draft resolution. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation believed the family was the fundamental element of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and such had the responsibility for the protection of children. Based on this belief, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation joined consensus while regretting that no mention of the family was in the text.

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

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.16/Rev.1) regarding the negative impact of the non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin to the countries of origin on the enjoyment of human rights, adopted by a vote of 35 in favour, one against and 11 abstentions, the Council calls for further international cooperation in support of efforts to prevent and combat corruption practices and the transfer of assets of illicit origin; calls upon all States to fully uphold their commitment to make the fight against corruption a priority at all levels and to curb illicit transfer of funds; further calls upon States to ensure the cooperation and responsiveness of financial institutions to foreign requests to freeze and recover funds of illicit origin and the provision of efficient mutual legal assistance to States requesting repatriation of those funds; and requests the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt to present to the Human Rights Council, at its twenty-second session, an in-depth study on the negative impact of the non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin to the countries of origin.

The result of the vote was as follows:

In favour (35): Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Thailand, Uganda, and Uruguay.

Against (1): United States.

Abstentions (11): Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Spain and Switzerland.

Egypt, introducing draft resolution L.16/Rev.1 on behalf of the African Group and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that only 2 per cent of the estimated funds of illicit origin annually leaving the developing world were repatriated to their countries of origin and that 80 per cent of the overall illicit transfer were from developing to developed countries. The grave problem of illicit transfers impacted the ability of States to realise the right to development and could even harm democratic institutions and the rule of law. The resolution established the responsibilities of requesting and requested States in the repatriation of funds of illicit origin. The text called for overcoming the legal and institutional obstacles and put forward that countries of origin must seek reparation as part of their duty to ensure the application of the maximum available resources to the full realization of human rights for all, including the right to development, address human rights violations and to combat impunity. The issue of non-reparation of funds of illicit origin clearly had a negative impact on the ability to ensure the application of the maximum available resources to the full realization of all human rights.

Belgium, speaking in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, said a significant number of new phrases were introduced at the last minute. This did not allow for an in-depth study of the resolution. The European Union believed that the resolution exceeded the mandate and expertise of the Council. The discussion would benefit from a broader approach which considered transnational crime and the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The European Union could not support the resolution and its Member States would abstain from voting on the resolution.

Norway, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said Norway had worked against illegal capital flows and illicit funds and supported in general terms that illicit financial flows had human rights implications. Norway was not convinced that the Human Rights Council was the appropriate forum for considering this complex issue. Norway would abstain in a vote on the resolution.

United States, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, regretted the manner in which Human Rights Council jumped into the area of asset recovery and showed its lack of expertise on the subject. It was for this and other reasons that the United States would call for a vote. The term repatriation was one that was used in early United Nations discussions on the topic, had been discredited and had not been used in resolutions in many years. This language had been replaced with asset recovery and return. Current General Assembly resolutions strongly recognized the United Nations Convention against Corruption as the appropriate body for addressing the issue.

Switzerland, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote on item 3 resolution L.31, said Switzerland was pleased that the resolution on the rights of the child had contained practical measures to promote and protect children. It must be noted that the late presentation of the text of 17 pages had raised serious problems for delegations and Switzerland regretted it could not participate in the process. There was a need to revise the format of the resolution so that it was more operational and shorter.

Action on Resolution Under Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building

Action on Resolution on Assistance to Libya in the Field of Human Rights

In a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.39/Rev.1) regarding assistance to Libya in the Field of Human Rights, adopted without a vote, the Council welcomes the Constitutional Charter for the Transitional Stage in Libya of 3 August 2011, where the promotion and protection of human rights are core elements; the political transitional process in Libya, and the arrangements to hold the election of the Libyan National Congress later in 2012; commends the courage of the people of Libya; encourages the transitional Government of Libya to investigate human rights violations, using all possible means; recognizes that the availability of Libyan resources may help the transitional Government of Libya to utilize those resources in the field of human rights; requests the Office of the High Commissioner, in collaboration with the transitional Government of Libya and upon its request, to explore ways of cooperation in the field of human rights, including technical assistance and capacity-building; and invites the Office of the High Commissioner to inform the Human Rights Council, at its twenty-second session, under agenda item 10, on its technical assistance, capacity-building and cooperation with the transitional Government of Libya.

The first proposed amendment by the Russian Federation (OP 4bis) was rejected by a vote of 11 in favour, 16 against and 19 abstentions. The results of the vote are as follows:

The second proposed amendment by the Russian Federation (OP 9) was rejected by a vote of 13 in favour, 16 against and 17 abstentions. The results of the vote are as follows:

The proposed amendment by Uganda was rejected by a vote of 15 in favour, 17 against and 14 abstentions. The results of the vote are as follows:

Morocco, introducing draft resolution L.39/Rev. 1, said there had been significant improvements and achievements in Libya owing to the determination and strong political will of the Libyan people and the Transitional Government to provide an enabling environment for the protection and promotion of human rights. The resolution welcomed the positive steps and courageous decisions taken by the Transitional Government to establish new mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights and to cooperate with international mechanisms. The text took note of the complex situation on the ground and encouraged the Transitional Government of Libya to increase efforts to protect and promote human rights and prevent any violations. The resolution requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to explore ways of cooperation in the field of human rights, including technical assistance and capacity building, and invited it to inform the Human Rights Council on its cooperation with the Libyan Transitional Government.

Libya, speaking as the concerned country, said the delegation of Libya had cooperated with fellow delegations in order to submit the resolution. The delegation of Libya had been flexible and cooperative and had accepted a number of constructive proposals. The resolution was balanced and Libya called on all States to adopt it without a vote.

Russian Federation, speaking in a general comment, noted that the draft submitted required more work. The Russian Federation made oral amendments. These were intended to make the text more balanced and address questions not included in the text.

Uganda, speaking in a general comment, supported the two amendments made by the Russian Federation. The Commission of Inquiry documented violations including unlawful killing, torture, enforced disappearances, sexual violence and pillage. It had been reported that sub-Saharan Africans had been deliberately targeted and abused. Uganda had engaged with the Libyan delegation with hoped that these considerations could be included in the resolution. These proposals had not been integrated. Uganda made oral amendments. Uganda believed that the indiscriminate abuse and killing of ethnic groups would continue without action by the Council.

Libya, speaking in a general comment, rejected the amendments put forward by the Russian Federation and regretted the late stage at which the Ugandan delegation had put its amendments before the Council. Libya called for a vote on the amendments.

Cuba, speaking in a general comment, said Cuba had consistently called for the full respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya. The main priority of the Council should be on finding a just compensation for the victims of bombing attacks by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Cuba’s position was not to take an active role in country specific mandates and it would not vote on this resolution.

United States, speaking in a general comment, said that substantial challenges faced the Libyan authorities in building institutions to promote and protect human rights and supported the resolution to provide technical assistance to Libya. Ensuring justice for those who had endured atrocities would be critical for Libya to become a country based on the rule of law. The Government of Libya should make sure the perpetrators of human rights violations were treated humanely and with due process. The United States would work with the international community and the Transitional Government to ensure the Libyan people had the support they needed to uphold human rights. The United States regretted that the amendments were proposed at a late stage and would vote against them.

Kuwait, speaking in a general comment, said Kuwait was happy to have been one of the first countries to support the revolution in Libya. The situation was precarious and the international community had to do all it could to support the Transitional Government so that it could restore peace and security in Libya. Kuwait advised Libya to uphold the highest norms of human rights. The concerned countries could solve these issues bilaterally. Kuwait asked for the amendments to be withdrawn so the resolution could be adopted without a vote.

Italy, speaking in a general comment, said Italy stood by Libya in its challenging tasks. The amendments came too late for proper consideration. Italy regretted that it was not in a position to support them.

Mauritania, speaking in a general comment, asked all members of the Human Rights Council to understand the situation in Libya. The transitional authorities were suffering in a number of sectors, particularly in their attempts to establish the rule of law and respect for human rights. The recent and remote past needed to be taken into consideration. These authorities were deploying huge amounts of energy and taking on a wide number of tasks. Mauritania called on the Council to consider the situation of the transitional authorities and called on all members to approve the resolution.

Saudi Arabia, speaking in a general comment, said Libya and its transitional Government were in dire need of technical assistance in the field of human rights. Concerning the amendments presented, Saudi Arabia said they would not serve the desired goal and called for the amendments to be withdrawn and the resolution to be adopted by consensus.

Qatar, speaking in a general comment, said the resolution reflected the constructive cooperation demonstrated by Libya. Qatar could not accept the amendments made by the Russian Federation and Uganda. Qatar would vote against them.

Hungary, on behalf of the Czech Republic, Romania and Poland in a general comment, said that if the amendments had been proposed and negotiated at an earlier stage, the countries could have supported them but because of the late stage, it was not in a position to accept them and they would vote against the amendments.

Jordan, speaking in a general comment, said the amendments should be withdrawn because they had come at a late moment; Jordan would vote against them.

Botswana, speaking in a general comment, said Botswana remained committed to assisting Libya after a difficult period. Botswana considered it important to look at the merits of the amendments before the Council. Botswana would give favourable consideration to parts of the amendments.

Russian Federation, speaking in a general comment, said the claim that these amendments were new did not correspond to reality. These amendments were submitted last week and then discussed during consultations on the draft. The Russian Federation could not withdraw the amendments.

Uganda, speaking in a general comment, regretted that the proposal did not enjoy the support of the Libyan Government. Uganda had been consistent in bringing the attention of the international community to the atrocities. Uganda was gravely concerned that these had not been looked squarely in the eye. Uganda would not withdraw the amendment given the merits of the amendment itself.

Russian Federation, speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that crimes had been committed by all sides in the conflict in Libya. The loss of life of civilian victims of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization air strikes was due to the expansive interpretation of the mandate of the Security Council and Russia would follow closely the compensation paid to the families of these victims. Libya was at the beginning of a long road toward building the rule of law which required a new justice system and the organization of elections. Russia stressed that all who had committed human rights violations during the conflict must be brought to justice. Technical assistance would be more effective if the Council regularly received information on the progress and problems remaining in Libya so that targeted assistance could be provided. The Russian Federation would go with the consensus and support the resolution.

Maldives, speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote on resolution L.39/Rev.1, said the Maldives had not been able to vote on the amendments to the resolution because there had not been sufficient time to consider them and hoped that in the future the Council would be able to work constructively on resolutions.

Appointment of Special Procedures

LAURA LASSERRE DUPUY, President of the Human Rights Council, presented a list of five mandate holders to be appointed at the current session. The Council endorsed Pablo de Greiff as Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantee of non-recurrence; Paulo Pinheiro as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Syria; Alfred de Zayas as Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order; Mashood Baderin as Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan; and Danfred Tutus as member of the Expert Mechanism on the rights of indigenous peoples. Cecilia Rachel Quisumbing was elected as a member of the Advisory Committee.

General Comments by Observer States on Resolutions Adopted during the Session

Venezuela categorically rejected the resolution sponsored by the United States against Sri Lanka. The country specific mandate was politically motivated as the Government of Sri Lanka had cooperated with all international human rights mechanisms. Venezuela supported the position taken by China on the need to review the accreditation process for non-governmental organizations and individuals attending the Forum on Minority Issues.

Brazil, on behalf of China, Guatemala and South Africa, said environmental protection should reinforce economic development and the promotion of human rights. The challenge was how to mainstream human rights into sustainable development policies. Brazil, China, Guatemala and South Africa underscored the importance of international cooperation for the protection of the environment.

India said the provisions of the institutional building package in the appointment of Special Procedures had not been adhered to or respected. India rejected the process of selection of the mandate holder for the promotion of a democratic and equitable order.

South Africa said, regarding L. 21, South Africa regarded birth registration as important to human rights and fundamental freedoms. However, the resolution contained narrow language with respect to registration. The imperative need for States to develop and maintain national registrars could not be underscored. It was key that the United Nations cooperated in this. The delegation of South Africa had made inputs that were not taken into account in the resolution. Regarding L.23, there was a need to recognise this right in a non-discriminatory manner. However, there was delicate need to consider balance between freedom of religion and belief on the one hand and freedom of expression on the other.

Sri Lanka sought clarification on allegations of threats to and intimidation of human rights defenders made against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka had asked for details on the claims but had so far not been able to ascertain the veracity of the incidents. The United States’ resolution against Sri Lanka constituted a negative precedent that challenged the core values of the Human Rights Council and reflected a blatant case of politicization. None was ignorant of the pressures exercised and the methods used to obtain support for a resolution whose list of co-sponsors constituted a caricature of a divided world. Sri Lanka saw a rise in arrogance, hypocrisy, double-standards, and the exclusion of those who dared to be different.

Sudan said Sudan would continue cooperation with the new Independent Expert. Cooperation was the pillar of every successful mandate to achieve the objective of the protection of human rights. The international community would have to provide the necessary assistance. Sudan reiterated its willingness to cooperate with the new Independent Expert.

Egypt said that the adoption of resolution L.7 on combating intolerance and negative stereotyping on persons based on religion or belief had contained many positive elements but should be strengthened with other measures. Egypt would closely monitor on the ground the implementation of the resolution.

Pakistan was deeply concerned about the direction the Council had taken and the re-emergence of confrontation, polarization and politicization. Pakistan called for a positive, inclusive and cooperative dialogue among Member States and said that country specific options should be used sparingly and only for States that had demonstrated a consistent pattern of human rights violations.

Zimbabwe said that the draft resolution on Sri Lanka had violated the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for the Government of Sri Lanka to hold strong and resist these attempts.

Report of the Nineteenth Session of the Council

GULNARA ISKAKOVA, Vice-President and Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council, introduced the draft report of the nineteenth session and said that 83 dignitaries had addressed the Council at the High-Level Segment. The Council had held an interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner on her annual report and had seen discussions on a wide range of topics during ten panels and dialogues with Special Procedure mandate holders. The Council had concluded the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, approved the appointment of four Special Procedure mandate holders and one member of the African Group for the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and had selected one member of the Asian Group for the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

The Council then adopted its report ad referendum.

Statements by Non-Governmental Organizations

International Service for Human Rights said that reprisals, threats and intimidation against those who cooperated with the Council’s mechanisms should stop immediately. The Council must continue to adopt country mandates and encourage States not to allow cooperative approaches to hinder the promotion of human rights.

Indian Council of South America said the right of self-determination of peoples was being systematically diminished through procedural actions in the Council. States which violated the right to self-determination had done so with impunity. Indigenous peoples were not minorities and were invested with the right to self-determination.

Movement Contre Le Racism and Pour l’amitie entre les peuples said the Council must promote universal respect for all freedoms in a just and equitable manner. Impunity should not be endorsed and the Council should not promote non-selectivity in its decisions.

Concluding Remarks by the President of the Council

LAURA LASSERRE DUPUY, President of the Human Rights Council, said, in accordance with paragraph 30 of the annex to Council resolution 16/21, that she hoped that civil society representatives who had participated in the work of the Council in plenary or side-events, as well as their families, would not suffer reprisals in relation thereto.

For use of the information media; not an official record

HRC12/054E