Daily Archive for March 21st, 2013

Highlights, Resolutions & Voting Results of HRC 22nd Session

On March 22 and 23, 2013, the UN Human Rights Council votes on the draft resolutions. Below are the session’s highlights as well as the vote on important resolutions.

Positive developments

  • Creation of Commission of Inquiry for North Korea for 1 year by consensus.
  • Extension of mandates for Syria, Iran, North Korea and Myanmar.
  • Condemnation of Syria.
  • Resolution on Sri Lanka to promote accountability and reconciliation.
  • Resolutions on Mali, Libya and Haiti.
  • Resolutions on human rights defenders, torture, freedom of religion.
  • The US and the EU decried item 7.

Negative developments

  • The Council failed to address in its resolutions the violations by the worst abusers such as Cuba, China, Russia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Click here for NGO resolutions on these countries.
  • Six one-sided resolutions against Israel.
  • Minutes of silence for Hugo Chavez and Stéphane Hessel.
  • The speech by Cuba democracy activist Rosa Maria Paya was interrupted by 6 countries; only the  US supported her right to speak. The Cuban comments of “mercenaries” and “fake NGOs” were not rejected by the Ambassadors of Ecuador and Switzerland who were presiding over the sessions.
  • The Council’s historic resolution on LBGT rights (A/HRC/RES/17/19 of the June 2011 session), which led to a panel during on 7 March 2012 session, has had no follow-up. It is common practice that such thematic resolutions are adopted once a year.
  • Pakistan’s UPR adoption contained only praise.
  • Resolutions on OHCHR staffing, Durban follow-up.

Condemnatory Country-Specific Resolutions:

Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (A/HRC/22/L.19)
Submitted by Japan and Ireland on behalf of the EU.
Adopted March 21, 2013 without a vote.

Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar (A/HRC/22/L.20/Rev.1)
Submitted by: Ireland on behalf of the EU.
Adopted March 21, 2013 without a vote.

Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (A/HRC/22/L.22)
Submitted by: Sweden, USA, Panama, Moldova, and Macedonia.
Vote Result: Adopted March 22, 2013 by a vote of 26 in favor, 2 against (Pakistan, Venezuela), 17 abstentions (African countries, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, UAE), 2 absent (Kazakhstan, Qatar).

Situation of Human Rights in the Syrian Arab Republic (A/HRC/22/L.31/Rev.1)
Submitted by: Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE.
Vote Result: Adopted March 22, 2013 by a vote of 41 in favor, 1 against (Venezuela), 5 abstentions (Ecuador, India, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Uganda)
The resolution included some stronger language but also reference to accountability by “all parties.”

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