Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan

EU priorities for the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council

12/09/2016 - 11:10
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The upcoming session of the Human Rights Council (HRC33) will once again be an opportunity for the international community to address and respond to human rights violations and abuses worldwide. Against the background of increased challenges to the global human rights aquis, the EU, working in close cooperation with partners, is resolved to be ever more vigilant and pro-active to keep key human rights issues in focus, to defend the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights, and to safeguard the independence of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human rights, of human rights' special procedures, as well as the treaty-monitoring bodies.

 

The upcoming session of the Human Rights Council (HRC33) will once again be an opportunity for the international community to address and respond to human rights violations and abuses worldwide. Against the background of increased challenges to the global human rights aquis, the EU, working in close cooperation with partners, is resolved to be ever more vigilant and pro-active to keep key human rights issues in focus, to defend the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights, and to safeguard the independence of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human rights, of human rights' special procedures, as well as the treaty-monitoring bodies. "We will, as always, strongly support participation of NGOs and Human Rights Defenders in the Council's work and encourage the HRC President to ensure accountability for any reported cases of harassment of such participants, online and offline," says Ambassador Peter Sørensen, Head of the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva.

During the 33rd session, the EU will in particular focus on:

  • DRC: In light of the deteriorating human rights situation in the country, the EU will intensify efforts to ensure a credible and forward-looking resolution. The findings from the High Commissioner's visit to the DRC in July, as well as the OHCHR report to be presented at HRC33 should be the basis for a substantial text, aimed at increased monitoring and reporting on the situation to the Council.
  • Burundi: We look forward to the final report and recommendations at HRC33 of the group of independent experts, which was established at the special session preventing further deterioration of the human rights situation in Burundi in December 2015. We will support efforts for a credible follow-up resolution that addresses the dire situation on the ground, establishing a robust follow-up mechanism.
  • Ukraine: During HRC33 we will support all efforts to address the situation on the ground. In this context we look forward to the Interactive Dialogue on Ukraine and the upcoming report of the OHCHR Monitoring Mission.
  • Syria: It remains crucial that the Council continues to keep the situation in Syria high on its agenda. During HRC33 we will once again be pushing for an immediate end to all violations and abuses of human rights, full accountability and an end to impunity, as well as a referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court.
  • Women’s human rights and gender equality: Resolved to promote gender equality, women's empowerment and the advancement of women's rights, the EU will participate in the "Annual discussion on the integration of a gender perspective" and the "Half-day panel discussion on violence against indigenous women and girls".
  • Rights of indigenous peoples: The EU will be active in the negotiations of the three resolutions addressing the rights of indigenous peoples, including the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur and the review of the mandate of the Expert Mechanism on the rights of indigenous peoples.
  • Migration: We will continue our engagement on migration within the Council, also in view of the upcoming UN Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants on 19 September in New York.
  • The EU Delegation will also co-sponsor several side events, including a debate on upholding children's rights entitled "Education: Reaching the furthest behind first", jointly organised with the Permanent Mission of the Slovak Republic and Save the Children. The event will take place on 16 September with EU Special Representative Stavros Lambrinidis as keynote speaker.

At this Council session we expect the HRC President to appoint several special procedures mandate holders, including the first ever Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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