Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU priorities for the 35th session of the Human Rights Council

02/06/2017 - 17:08
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From 6 to 23 June 2017 the Human Rights Council will gather in Geneva, mobilizing the international community to address and respond to human rights violations and abuses across the globe.

"At this session the EU will once again present a resolution on Belarus, where we continue to observe a curtailment of human rights," says Peter Sørensen, Head of the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva. "The session will also see a strong focus on women's rights and gender equality and I am pleased that the EEAS Principal Adviser on Gender, Mara Marinaki, will travel to Geneva to attend the Council," he adds.

During the 35th session, the EU will focus, among others, on the following issues:

Belarus: The EU will lead a resolution on the human rights situation in Belarus, proposing the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur. We will address recent developments on the ground as well as concerns over the continued application of the death penalty.

Syria: The dire human rights and humanitarian situation in Syria deserves our continuous full attention. At HRC35 we will therefore continue our engagement to secure a resolution that reflects the developments on the ground, advocating for accountability for all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, access of the Commission of Inquiry to Syria, and support to the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria.

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC):  We remain seriously concerned by the political situation in the DRC caused by the blockage in the implementation of the inclusive political agreement of 31 December 2016, as well as by the security situation in several parts of the country, in particular in the Kasai, where a violent insurgency has been confronted with disproportionate use of force, resulting in massive humanitarian consequences. At HRC35 we will therefore intensively engage with the DRC, the African Group and all relevant stakeholders in view of ensuring an independent and credible investigation into human rights violations in the Kasai provinces.

Myanmar/Burma: We look forward to receiving an oral progress report of the UN Special Rapporteur at this session, bearing in mind that the international independent fact-finding mission is due to present an oral progress report at HRC36.

Burundi: The EU is also awaiting an important update by the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, who undertook several visits to the region and, despite the non-cooperation of the country concerned, gathered testimonies regarding the situation on the ground from refugees in neighbouring countries. The EU remains concerned by the persistence of human rights violations in the country, the ongoing impunity for the authors of these violations, and the absence of the necessary political opening.

Women's human rights and gender equality: We will remain strongly engaged in our international efforts to achieve gender equality, to empower women and girls and to advance their rights as a matter of priority. The EU's commitment to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls was recently confirmed by its decision to join the Council of Europe Convention (Istanbul Convention) on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. At HRC35 we will actively participate in all discussions and resolutions on this issue, underlining the EU's commitment to fight for gender equality, to keep women and girls safe, and to empower them to fully realise their potential.

Human Rights of Migrants: At HRC35 we will reiterate our firm commitment to fully respect and protect the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migratory status, and underline the role of the Human Rights Council in contributing in this regard to ongoing processes, such as the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration.                        


Public events: The EU will co-host an event on 'It takes a world to end violence against children' on 13 June 2017. More information on our website.

All statements and interventions made on behalf of the EU will be put on our website. Please also follow @EU_UNGeneva  on Twitter for real-time updates.