European Union External Action

Outcomes of the 45th session of the Human Rights Council from an EU perspective

07/10/2020 - 15:36
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From 14 September to 8 October 2020, the 45th UN Human Rights Council (HRC45) gathered in Geneva, addressing a wide range of thematic and country specific human rights issues and situations.

“At this session, the serious deterioration of the human rights situation in Belarus has particularly preoccupied the EU. In  the run up to and the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, we have witnessed a series of grave, unprecedented violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country,” says EU Ambassador Stevens.

To scrutinise the urgent situation in Belarus in the Council, the EU requested an Urgent Debate on the human rights situation in Belarus and introduced a resolution, which the Council adopted on 18 September. The resolution requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present an interim oral update with recommendations to the HRC before the end of 2020, and to present a comprehensive written report on the human rights situation related to the 2020 presidential election at the next Human Rights Council session. “The EU continues to stand with the Belarusian people. Scrutiny by the Human Rights Council and the close monitoring by the international community is key to prevent further escalation on the ground,” underlines Ambassador Stevens.

The EU welcomes the adoption of and the strong cross-regional support to the resolution on the realization of the of the Rights of the Child through a healthy environment. A safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is necessary for children to be able to enjoy all their human rights. The resolution presented by the EU and the Group of Latin America and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) is an important contribution in guiding States in strengthening their child rights-based approach to environmental decision-making. “The EU remains committed to and will continue supporting initiatives to ensure the full and effective implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,” emphasized Ambassador Stevens.

The EU-led resolution on the human rights situation in Burundi, which recalls the human rights situation in the country as well as of recent political developments, and suggested renewing the mandate of the existing Commission of Inquiry for a further period of one year, and was adopted with solid support. The EU remains hopeful that President Ndayishimiye will live up to his commitment to protect the human rights of the Burundian people.

The EU actively engaged on a number of discussions concerning other human rights situations that required continued attention by the international community, such as in the Interactive Dialogue with the Fact Finding Mission on Libya. We also supported the important resolutions on Syria and Venezuela to ensure continued scrutiny by the Council, as well as the resolution on Yemen to renew the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts. In a Joint Statement with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the Human Rights Situation in Myanmar, we made a strong call for accountability and to continue to address the ongoing human rights violations and abuses, in particular in the run up to the November elections.

At this session, we co-organised a virtual event on empowering women in humanitarian settings “Women raising the torch of humanitarian action” in view of our strong support to the resolution on ensuring women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights in humanitarian settings. All EU interventions and statements can be found on the EU Delegation's website. Updates were regularly posted on the EU Delegation's Twitter account @EU_UNGeneva.

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