The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted 11 resolutions, in which it decided, among others, to extend mandates on Belarus, Syria and Mali. It also appointed 11 Special Procedure mandate holders before concluding its forty-ninth session.

The Council also adopted resolutions on ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the coronavirus disease pandemic; the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination; Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and in the occupied Syrian Golan; 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 the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund; cooperation with Georgia; and technical assistance and capacity building for South Sudan.

In a resolution on ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic,the Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on the human rights implications of and good practices and key challenges in affordable, timely, equitable and universal access to and distribution of quality, safe, efficacious and affordable COVID-19 vaccines and the impact on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

In a resolution on the situation of human rights in Belarus in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election and in its aftermath,the Council decided to extend the mandate of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to, inter alia, carry out a comprehensive examination of all alleged human rights violations committed in Belarus since 1 May 2020.

In a resolution on the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry for a period of one year. The Council further requested the Commission of Inquiry to present an oral update to the Council during the interactive dialogue at its fiftieth session and to present an updated written report during an interactive dialogue at the fifty-first and fifty-second sessions of the Council.

In a resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, the Council reaffirmed the Palestinian people’s right to live in freedom, justice and dignity and the right to their independent State of Palestine. The Council called upon all States to ensure their obligations of non-recognition, non-aid or assistance with regard to the serious breaches of peremptory norms of international law by Israel; to adopt measures to promote the realization of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people; and to assist the United Nations in carrying out its responsibilities regarding the implementation of this right.

In a resolution on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, the Council reaffirmed that the Israeli settlements established since 1967 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan were illegal under international law, and constituted a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. The Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to report on the implementation of the provisions of this resolution at the Council’s fifty-second session.

In a resolution on Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan, the Council deplored the practices of the Israeli occupation authorities affecting the human rights of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan, and requested 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, to disseminate it as widely as possible and to report on this matter to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-second session.

In a resolution on combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief, the Council called upon all States to take effective measures to ensure that public functionaries did not discriminate against individuals on the basis of religion or belief, to promote religious freedom and pluralism, to counter religious profiling, and to provide updates on efforts made in this regard to the Office of the High Commissioner. It further requested the High Commissioner to prepare and submit to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-second session a comprehensive follow-up report on the measures taken by States based on the recommendations of the Council.

In a resolution on strengthening 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, the Council encouraged the Trust Fund to continue its training and capacity-building activities. The Council requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report that would evaluate the activities of the Trust Fund and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its sixty-fourth session.

In a resolution on cooperation with Georgia, the Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to provide technical assistance through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Tbilisi; and requested the High Commissioner to present to the Council, in accordance with its resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007, an oral update on the follow-up to the present resolution at its fiftieth session, and to present a written report on developments relating to and the implementation of the present resolution at its fifty-first session.

In a resolution on technical assistance and capacity-building for Mali in the field of human rights, the Council decided to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali for a period of one year in order to permit him to evaluate the situation of human rights in Mali and to provide his assistance in ensuring the promotion, protection and implementation of human rights and strengthening the rule of law. The Council requested the Independent Expert to submit a report to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-second session.

In a resolution on technical assistance and capacity-building for South Sudan, the Council requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in cooperation with the Government of South Sudan and relevant mechanisms of the African Union, to urgently assist South Sudan to address human rights challenges in the post-conflict transition. The Council also requested the Office of the High Commissioner to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its fifty-first session, to be followed by an interactive dialogue.

In concluding remarks, Federico Villegas, President of the Human Rights Council, said this had been the longest session in the history of the Council, five full weeks. The forty-ninth session of the Human Rights Council had been a great challenge for multilateral diplomacy. It was essential to maintain the spirit of constructive dialogue when it came to implementing the mandates that emerged from the resolutions adopted by the Council at the session. The legacy of the session was 35 resolutions adopted, 18 by consensus and 16 that went to a vote. It was not a matter of picking and choosing the mandate that one liked and ignoring the mandate that one did not. It was about moving together the main machinery created by the international community for the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.

Mr. Villegas also announced the appointment of the following 11 Special Procedure mandate holders: Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, member from Central and Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia – Antonina Gorbunova (Russian Federation); Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, member from Central and South America, and the Caribbean – Anexa Brendalee Alfred Cunningham (Nicaragua); Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, member from the Pacific – Valmaine Toki (New Zealand); Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change – Ian Fry (Tuvalu);

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan – Richard Bennett (New Zealand); Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burundi – Fortuné Gaetan Zongo (Burkina Faso); Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 – Francesca P. Albanese (Italy); Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, member from Western European and other States – Matthew Gillett (New Zealand); Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, member from Asia-Pacific States – Angkhana Neelapaijit (Thailand); Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, member from Asia-Pacific States – Pichamon Yeophantong (Thailand); and Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, member from Latin American and Caribbean States – Carlos Alberto Salazar Couto (Peru).

Source: UN Human Rights Council

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