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Human Rights Council concludes thirty-sixth session after adopting 33 resolutions and a Presidential Statement

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Establishes a Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen, Creates an Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Accountability of Private Military and Security Companies, and Extends Mandates on Burundi, Myanmar, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Sudan and Somalia

GENEVA (29 September 2017) - The Human Rights Council this afternoon concluded its thirty-sixth regular session, during which it addressed a wide range of human rights issues with numerous human rights experts, working groups and investigative bodies, adopted the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of 14 States, and heard statements by high-level dignitaries from nine States and a regional organization.

The Council adopted 33 resolutions and a Presidential Statement addressing multiple themes as well as human rights situations in Yemen, Burundi, Myanmar, Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Somalia and Cambodia; filled seven vacancies of Special Procedures mandate holders, and adopted its report for the session.

Ambassador Joaquin Alexander Maza Martelli of El Salvador, President of the Council, opened the thirty-sixth session on 11 September.  The Council then heard an oral update by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on human rights concerns in 40 countries.

Over the course of the three week-session which started on 11 September, the Council heard from 17 independent experts and groups, two commissions of inquiries - on Burundi and on Syria - and the fact-finding mission on Myanmar, who presented 90 reports addressing 35 themes and 40 country situations, including the comprehensive reports on the Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The Council held four panel discussions; adopted the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Finland, United Kingdom, India, Brazil, Philippines, Algeria, Poland, Netherlands, and South Africa; and heard the addresses by the President of the Central African Republic, the Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and high-level officials from Qatar, Venezuela, Finland, United Kingdom, Cambodia, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, and Yemen.

By virtue of the adopted texts, the Council requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish, no later by the end of 2017, a group of eminent international and regional experts for a period of at least one year to monitor and report on the situation on human rights in Yemen and to carry out a comprehensive examination of all alleged violations and abuses of human rights.

The Council requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to urgently dispatch a team of three experts to engage with the Burundian authorities and all other stakeholders in order to collect information, establish the truth, and ensure that the perpetrators of deplorable crimes are all accountable to the judicial authorities of Burundi.  It also decided to extend the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi for one year in order to deepen and continue its investigations.

The Council extended the mandate of the independent international fact-finding mission on Myanmar to establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged recent human rights violations by military and security forces; and renewed the mandates of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, and the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia.

The Council decided to convene, at its thirty-seventh session, a high-level panel discussion on human rights violations of children in Syria, with a specific focus on attacks against children including attacks on schools and hospitals and denial of humanitarian access.

The Council requested the Office of the High Commissioner to give an oral update on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Council at its thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth sessions, and to present its comprehensive report on the situation of human rights in this country at the thirty-ninth session of the Council.

The Council established a new open-ended intergovernmental Working Group for a period of three years to elaborate the content of an international regulatory framework to ensure accountability of private military and security companies for human rights violations and abuses relating to their activities.

The Council extended the mandates of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, and the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights; as well as the mandates of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence; Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes; Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; and the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.

The Council adopted a resolution on the geographic composition of the staff of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; a resolution on the 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; a text on the right to development; and a text in which it decided that the biennial high-level panel discussion to be held at the Council’s fortieth session would address human rights violations related to the use of the death penalty.

The Council adopted a text on cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights in which it condemned the acts of intimidation or reprisal by State and non-State actors.  Another text, adopted related to the fifth annual session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on a United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

Other resolutions dealt with the migrant children and adolescents, systematic mainstreaming a gender perspective in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, World Programme for Human Rights Education, mental health and human rights, annual half-day panel discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples, human rights in the administration of justice including juvenile justice, conscientious objection to military service, International Decade for People of African Descent, annual thematic panel discussion on the enhancement of technical cooperation and capacity-building in the field of human rights, international cooperation to support national human rights follow-up systems, processes and related mechanisms, and on the reports of the Advisory Committee.

As members of its Advisory Committee, the Council appointed, by secret ballot, Ajai Malhotra (India) and Changrok Soh (Republic of Korea).  Five members of the Advisory Committee were elected by acclamation: Dheerujlall Baramlall Seetulsingh from Mauritius, and Mohamed Bennani from Morocco for the African States; Ion Diaconu from Romania for the Eastern European States; Elizabeth S. Salmón from Peru for the Latin American and Caribbean States; and Ludovic Hennebel from Belgium from the Western European and other States.

The Council appointed Tendayi Achiume (Zambia) as the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and Alice Cruz (Portugal) as the Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members.  Marie-Evelyne Petrus (France) was appointed to the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, while Meskerem Techane (Ethiopia), Melissa Upreti (Nepal), Ivana Radaèiæ (Croatia), and Elizabeth Broderick (Australia) were appointed members of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice.

The Council adopted its report of the thirty-sixth session ad referendum.

In concluding remarks, Joaquin Alexander Maza Martelli, President of the Human Rights Council, said that, in response to the budgetary constraints which made it impossible for the United Nations Office at Geneva to serve more than 135 regular session meetings of the Council in 2017 and 130 regular session meetings of the Council in 2018, the Council had adopted diverse, urgent and extraordinary measures to reduce the speaking times during the meetings.  Four measures to address the situation had been proposed, including to request support from the General Assembly for 20 additional regular session meetings.  The President said that the Bureau would continue consulting with States on the issue with a view to reach consensus.  

Documentation, statements, resolutions and reports relating to this and all Human Rights Council sessions are available on its webpage.  Detailed, speaker-by-speaker coverage of every public meeting, in English and in French, can be found on the website of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The thirty-sixth session of the Human Rights Council was held in Geneva from 11 to 29 September 2017.  The thirty-seventh session will be held in the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room of the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 26 February to 23 March 2018.

Summary of the Programme of Work

Session Opening

The thirty-sixth session of the Human Rights Council was opened on 11 September by Ambassador Joaquin Alexander Maza Martelli of El Salvador, President of the Council.  During the opening meeting, the Council heard an oral update by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.  The world had grown darker and more dangerous, he said, as he highlighted major human rights concerns around the world, including the threat of violent extremism to strike down our future prematurely by “a trigger pulled, a steering wheel turned, or a pin tugged”.  But, it would not be the actions of violent extremists that would totally obliterate our world; rather, it was governments that could break humanity, warned the High Commissioner, peeling away at human rights protections and unravelling the societies, setting course toward authoritarianism and oppression, and staging not a century of achievement and pride, but a century that was small, bitter and deprived, for the vast majority of humans.  And yet, there were movements of people standing up in many countries in defiance of the indefensible, who sought “not power or personal profit but justice” – that was where the High Commissioner and his Office found their inspiration, and drew determination from the lessons of the past and the conviction that human rights principles were the only way to avoid global war and profound misery and deprivation. 

First Week of the Session

On the first day of the session, the Council discussed, in a clustered dialogue, the theme of enforced disappearance in the context of migration with the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances and the thematic study on transitional justice with the Special Rapporteur on truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.  That same day, the Council examined the impact of assisted and robotics technology, artificial intelligence and automation on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, and an overview of regulation on water services, in a clustered discussion with the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons and the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.  On Tuesday 12 September, the general debate on the oral update by the High Commissioner for Human Rights took place, as well as a clustered interactive dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, in which deprivation of liberty on discriminatory grounds and the access to justice and remedies for victims of slavery were discussed. 

The following day, the Council dialogued with the Working Group on the use of mercenaries on its global study on national legislation on private military and security companies, and with the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, and also held a clustered discussion with the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order on his research into the impact of the financial and economic policies by international organizations and with the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human right on remedies and redress for victims of such measures.

On Thursday 14 September, the Council heard the first United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to development present his maiden report and the vision of the mandate, followed by an interactive discussion.  In the afternoon, the biennial panel discussion on unilateral coercive measures and human rights, dedicated to the theme of resources and compensation necessary to promote accountability and reparations, took place.

The annual discussion on the integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of the Human Rights Council and that of its mechanisms took place on the last day of the week, and saw the Council exploring the Universal Periodic Review and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.  Also on Friday, the Council heard from the Working Group on the right to development and the Intergovernmental Working Group on private military and security companies, and also heard the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights presenting a series of thematic reports, followed by general debate on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, which concluded on Monday 18 September.

During the first week of the session, a number of high-level dignitaries addressed the Council.  On Monday, it heard statements by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister for Foreign Affairs  of Qatar; Jorge Arreaza Montserrat, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela; Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland; Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, State Minister for the Commonwealth and the United Nations of the United Kingdom; Carmen Almendras, Vice Minister of Institutional and Consular Management of Bolivia; and Keo Remy, President of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee.  On Tuesday, it was addressed by Bessolé Réné Bagoro, Minister of Justice of Burkina Faso, and on Wednesday the Council heard from Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and from Mohammed Muhsen Askar, Minister of Human Rights of Yemen.

Second Week of the Session

On Monday 18 September, the Council started addressing country situations by hearing the presentation of the report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria by the Commission’s Chairperson, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, and then discussing the human rights situation in this country.  Also on Monday, the Council held an enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation in South Sudan with Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of South Sudan, Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission for the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, United Nations Mission in South Sudan, and the African Union Commission. 

The following day, the Council heard an oral update on the situation of human rights in Myanmar by Marzuki Darusman, Chairperson of the Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar, followed by an interactive dialogue; and the presentation of the report on the human rights situation in Burundi by Fatsah Ouguergouz, Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, also followed by an interactive discussion.  The general debate on human rights situations requiring the Council’s attention took place on 19 and 20 September. 

On Wednesday 20 September the Council focused on the rights of indigenous peoples: first, it held its annual half-day panel discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples under the theme “Tenth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”; heard the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli Corpuz presenting her report containing a thematic study on the impacts of climate change and climate finance on indigenous peoples’ rights; also heard from Albert Kwokwo Barume, Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Binota Dhamai, Member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations, and then held an interactive dialogue on the rights of indigenous peoples.  That same day, Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights presented the Secretary-General’s report on reprisals against persons cooperating with the United Nations; Nardi Suxo Iturry, Chair-Rapporteur presented the report of the Open-Ended Group Intergovernmental Working Group with the mandate of negotiating, finalising and submitting a draft United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas; Mikhail Lebedev, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee presented the reports on unaccompanied migrant children & on funds of illicit origin, which were followed by an interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee.

The Council adopted the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of Bahrain, Ecuador and Tunisia; outcomes of Morocco, Indonesia and Finland; and the outcomes of United Kingdom, India and Brazil on Thursday 21 September.  On Friday, it adopted the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines, Algeria and Poland, and the outcomes of the Netherlands and South Africa; concluded general debate on human rights bodies and mechanisms, and started its general debate on the Universal Periodic Review which it concluded on Monday 25 September.

Third Week

The Council opened its final, third week of the thirty-sixth session by holding a general debate on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, a general debate on follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and a panel discussion on the impact of multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence in the context of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance on the full enjoyment of all human rights by women and girls.

On Tuesday 26 September, the Council addressed its agenda item on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance: it heard the presentation of the reports of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent by its Chairperson Sabelo Gumedze, held an interactive discussion with the Working Group of Experts and then held a general debate on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.  Under the agenda item on technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights, the Council heard Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, present an oral update on the nineteenth quarterly report of the High Commissioner on the human rights situation in Ukraine, and the report on the situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.  It also began an enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in this country; Cessouma Minata Samate, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union; Georges Kapiamba, Chairperson of the Congolese Association for Access to Justice; and Marie-Ange Mushobekwa, Minister of Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Council continued to address technical assistance and capacity-building also on Wednesday 27 September, by holding an interactive dialogue with Rhona Smith, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, who presented her report, and an interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in Somalia on the report presented by the Independent Expert Bahame Nyadunga.  The Council discussed the human rights situation in Libya, after hearing an oral update by Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, and hearing a statement from Matilda Bogner, Head of the Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Division of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya.  Also on Wednesday, the Council held an interactive dialogue with Aristide Nononsi, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, heard an address by Faustin-Archange Touadéra, President of the Central African Republic, and started to discuss the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic with the Independent Expert, Marie-Therese Keita-Bocoum, which it concluded the following day, when the Council also held a general debate on technical assistance and capacity building, after hearing Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights present country reports by the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Cambodia, Georgia and Yemen.

On 28 and 29 September, the Council adopted 33 resolutions and a Presidential Statement on a wide range of issues.

Resolutions

Action on the Presidential Statement under the Agenda Item on Organizational and Procedural Matters

In a Presidential Statement (A/HRC/36/L.65) on the reports of the Advisory Committee, adopted without a vote, the Council takes note of the reports of the Advisory Committee on its eighteenth and nineteenth sessions, and notes that the Advisory Committee has made a research proposal.

Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on the Annual Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.1) on the composition of staff of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, adopted by a vote of 31 in favour, 15 against and one abstention, the Council requests the High Commissioner to redouble his efforts with a view to redress the current imbalance in the geographical composition of the staff of the Office, paying particularly attention to the senior management level and the posts not subject to geographical distribution and to submit a report to the Council at its thirty-ninth session.

Draft resolution (A/HRC/36/L.4) on the situation of human rights in Yemen was withdrawn.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.33/Rev.1) on the mission by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to improve the human rights situation and accountability in Burundi, adopted by a vote of 23 in favour, 14 against and nine abstentions as orally revised, the Council requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to urgently dispatch a team of three experts to collect and preserve information, determine the facts and circumstances, and forward this information to the judicial authorities of Burundi in order to establish the truth and ensure that the perpetrators of deplorable crimes are all accountable to the judicial authorities of Burundi.  The Council requests the High Commissioner to present an oral briefing to the Council at its thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth session, and urges the Government of Burundi to cooperate fully with the team of experts.

Action on Texts under the Agenda Item on the Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.2) on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, adopted by a vote of 32 in favour 15 against, and no abstentions, the Council requests the Working Group to continue to study and identify sources and causes, emerging issues, manifestations and trends with regard to mercenaries and mercenary-related activities and their impact on human rights and to report its findings to the General Assembly at its seventy-third session and to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-ninth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.3) on the mandate of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, adopted by a vote of 32 in favour, 15 against and no abstentions, the Council requests the Independent Expert to prepare a final report on his studies conducted during the last six years of his mandate, and to submit it to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh session, and decides to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert for a period of three years.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.5) on human rights in the administration of justice, including juvenile justice, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the High Commissioner to submit to the Human Rights Council, at its forty-second session, a report on human rights in the administration of justice, in particular on violence, death and serious injury in situations of deprivation of liberty, drawing on the experience of United Nations and regional human rights mechanisms and seeking the views of States, civil society, and other relevant stakeholders.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.6) on the question of the death penalty, adopted by a vote of 27 in favour, 13 against and seven abstentions as orally revised, the Council decides that the biennial high-level panel discussion to be held at the Council’s fortieth session will address the human rights violations related to the use of the death penalty, in particular with respect to the rights to non-discrimination and equality, and requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to submit the summary report of the panel discussion to the Human Rights Council at its forty-second session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.7) on unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents and human rights, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide inputs to the forthcoming stocktaking meeting on the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration and to help to identify concrete measures and best practices to improve the human rights situation of unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.10) on enforced or involuntary disappearances, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances for a further period of three years, and requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Working Group with all financial and human resources necessary to enable it to carry out fully its mandate.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.11) on the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend for a period of three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur whose tasks will include, inter alia, to explore further the contribution of transitional justice to the prevention of gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law, including genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, and their recurrence.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.12) on the full enjoyment of human rights by all women and girls and the systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize a two-day intersessional expert meeting to consider gaps in, challenges to and best practices aimed at the full enjoyment of human rights by all women and girls and the systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and to present a report on the outcome of the meeting to the Council at its thirty-ninth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.13/Rev.1) on the right to development, adopted by a vote of 31 in favour, 11 against and four abstentions, the Council decides that the Working Group on the Right to Development shall finalize consideration of the criteria and operational subcriteria, preferably no later than its nineteenth session, in relation to the elaboration of a comprehensive and coherent set of standards for the implementation of the right to development, and that the Working Group shall invite the Special Rapporteur on the right to development to provide his views on the work of the Working Group and its relevant agenda items, at its nineteenth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.14) on human rights and unilateral coercive measures, adopted by a vote of 30 in favour, 15 against and one abstention, the Council decides to extend for a period of three years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, and requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to give high priority to human rights and unilateral coercive measures.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.15) on the mandate of the open-ended intergovernmental working group to elaborate the content of an international regulatory framework on the regulation, monitoring and oversight of the activities of private military and security companies, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to establish a new open-ended intergovernmental working group, for a period of three years, to elaborate the content of an international regulatory framework to protect human rights and ensure accountability for violations and abuses relating to the activities of private military and security companies; also decides that the working group shall meet for five working days and submit an annual progress report to the Human Rights Council in conformity with its annual programme of work.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.20) on the conscientious objection to military service, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council requests the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a report on different approaches and challenges with regard to application procedures for obtaining the status of conscientious objector to military service in accordance with human rights standards, and to present it to the Human Rights Council at its forty-first session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.24) on the World Programme for Human Rights Education, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council requests the Office of the High Commissioner to seek the views of States, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders on the target sectors, focus areas or thematic human rights issues for the fourth phase of the World Programme and to submit a report thereon to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-ninth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.25) on mental health and human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the High Commissioner to organize a consultation lasting one and a half days, no later than during the seventy-first session of the World Health Assembly, to discuss all the relevant issues and challenges pertaining to the fulfilment of a human rights perspective in mental health, and to prepare a report on the outcome of the consultation, to be presented the Human Rights Council at its thirty-ninth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.27) on human rights and indigenous peoples, adopted without a vote, the Council decides that the theme of the annual half-day panel discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples to be held during the thirty-ninth session of the Council will be on the means of participation for and the inclusion of indigenous peoples in the development of strategies and projects, and the implementation of those projects in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related Goals, and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to submit a summary report to the Council prior to its forty-first session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.32) on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a period of three years and invites him to report to the Council in accordance with its programme of work, and annually to the General Assembly.

Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on Human Rights Situations that Require the Council’s Attention

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.9/Rev.1) on the situation of human rights in Burundi, adopted by a vote of 22 in favour, 11 against, and 14 abstentions, the Council decides to extend for a period of one year the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi in order to deepen and continue its investigations, and requests the Commission to present an oral briefing to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth sessions, and the final report during an interactive dialogue at its thirty-ninth session and at the seventy-third session of the General Assembly.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.22) on the human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, adopted by a vote of 27 in favour, seven against, and 13 abstentions, the Council decides to convene a high-level panel discussion on violations of the human rights of children in the Syrian Arab Republic at its thirty-seventh session of the Human Rights Council, in consultation with the Commission of Inquiry, with a specific focus on attacks against children, including attacks on schools and hospitals and denial of humanitarian access, featuring witness testimony and Syrian voices, including children’s views through appropriate and safe means.  The Council requests the Office of the High Commissioner to present a summary report on the high-level panel discussion to the Council’s thirty-eighth session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.31/Rev.1) on the extension of the mandate of the independent international fact-finding mission on Myanmar, adopted without a vote the Council decides to extend the mandate of the independent international fact-finding mission to establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged recent human rights violations by military and security forces, and abuses, in Myanmar, and requests it to present an oral update, to be followed by an interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh session; to submit its final report for consideration by the Council at its thirty-ninth session, to be followed by an interactive dialogue; and to present that report also to the General Assembly at its seventy-third session. 

Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on Human Rights Bodies and Mechanisms

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.26/Rev.1) as amended on the cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights, adopted by a vote of 28 in favour, none against and 19 abstained (as orally revised), the Council condemns all acts of intimidation or reprisal by States and non-State actors against individuals and groups who seek to cooperate, cooperate or have cooperated with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights; and decides that the presentation of the report of the Secretary-General on cooperation with the United Nations in the field of human rights will be followed by an interactive dialogue aimed at strengthening the capacity of Member States to comply with their human rights obligations for the benefit of all people.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.29) on the promotion and protection of the human rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, adopted by a vote of 34 in favour, two against and 11 abstentions, the Council decides that the open-ended intergovernmental working group on a United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas shall hold its fifth annual session for five working days before the thirty-eighth session of the Human Rights Council, and requests the working group to submit an annual report on progress made to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly for their consideration.

Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.16) on the mandate of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent for a further period of three years, and requests the Working Group to pay special attention in its annual report to the rising tide of racism and racial hatred, as evidenced by the resurgence of white supremacist ideologies, and extremist nationalist and populist ideologies, and to make specific recommendations in this regard.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.17/Rev.1) titled From rhetoric to reality: a global call for concrete action against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, adopted by a vote of 32 in favour, five against, and 10 abstentions, the Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in his capacity as coordinator of the International Decade for People of African Descent, to submit an oral update on his activities in follow-up to the implementation of the programme of activities within the framework of the Decade to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-ninth session, and to prioritize the issue of preventing and combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in the work of his Office.

Action on Resolutions under the Agenda Item on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.8) on the technical assistance and capacity-building for Yemen in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council requests the High Commissioner to establish a Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts with the mandate to monitor and report on the situation of human rights and carry out a comprehensive examination of all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights and other appropriate and applicable fields of international law committed by all parties to the conflict since September 2014; to establish the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged violations and abuses and, where possible, to identify those responsible; to make general recommendations on improving the respect for and protection and fulfilment of human rights, and to provide guidance on access to justice, accountability, reconciliation and healing, as appropriate.  The Council requests the immediate operationalization of the mandate and requests the High Commissioner to appoint without delay the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts, no later than by the end of 2017.  The Council requests the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts to present a comprehensive written report to the High Commissioner by the time of the thirty-ninth session of the Human Rights Council to be followed by an interactive dialogue.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.18/Rev.1) on technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights in the Central African Republic, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council decides to renew, for one year, the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic, and also decides to organize, at its thirty-seventh session, a high-level interactive dialogue to assess the evolution of the human rights situation on the ground, placing special emphasis on the impact of peace and reconciliation efforts on human rights.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.19) on the technical assistance and capacity-building to improve human rights in the Sudan, adopted without a vote, the decides to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert for a period of one year, and requests him to present a report to the Human Rights Council on the implementation of his mandate at its thirty-ninth session.  The Council also calls upon the Government of the Sudan to continue its full cooperation with the Independent Expert and to continue to permit effective access to visit all areas of the country.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.21) on the advisory services and technical assistance to Cambodia, adopted without a vote as orally revised, the Council decides to extend by two years the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, and requests the Special Rapporteur to report on the implementation of her mandate to the Council at its thirty-ninth and forty-second sessions, and to engage in a constructive manner with the Government of Cambodia for the further improvement of the situation of human rights in the country; and requests the Secretary-General to provide an oral update, followed by an interactive dialogue, to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-eighth session and to report to the Council at its thirty-ninth and forty-second sessions on the implementation of the present resolution.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.23) on the assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council decides to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia for a period of one year, and requests the Independent Expert to report to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-ninth session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-third session.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.28) on the enhancement of technical cooperation and capacity-building in the field of human rights, adopted without a vote, the Council decides that the theme for the annual thematic panel discussion under agenda item 10 to be held during its thirty-eighth session will be “Human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals: enhancing human rights technical cooperation and capacity-building to contribute to the effective and inclusive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.30) on promoting international cooperation to support national human rights follow-up systems, processes and related mechanisms, and their contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted without a vote, the Council invites States to gradually increase their voluntary contributions to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights, the Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance for the Implementation of the Universal Periodic Review and other relevant trust funds, in order to  enable States to establish or strengthen their respective national human rights follow-up systems and processes, including, as appropriate, their national mechanisms for reporting and follow-up.

In a resolution (A/HRC/36/L.34/Rev.1) on technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, adopted by a vote of 45 in favour, one against and no abstentions as orally revised, the Council requests the Office of the High Commissioner to give an oral update on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth sessions, in an enhanced interactive dialogue; also requests the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a comprehensive report on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including in the context of the electoral process, and to present it to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-ninth session in an enhanced interactive dialogue.

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