Human Rights Council, 22nd session

The United Nations Human Rights Council held its twenty-second regular session from 25 February to 22 March 2013, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The Human Rights Council is the supreme human rights institution in the UN system and normally convenes three times a year. In the Council, pressing human rights issues are discussed and resolutions are formulated and put to a vote. Draft resolutions focus either on general themes related to human rights or on the human rights situation in a specific country that require the Council's attention. A total of 47 states have a seat in the Council and can vote on resolutions. Currently, Iceland has observer status in the Council and can thus contribute by supporting draft resolutions, influencing draft resolutions at informal consultation meetings and making statements in the plenary.

During this session, as at the last one, the human rights situation in Syria was of great concern in the Council and a resolution that Iceland co-sponsored was passed. Iceland also took part in a cross regional- and a Nordic statement regarding the situation in Syria. Other resolutions that received considerable attention during the Council and which Iceland co-sponsored were e.g. the resolution on Protecting Human Rights Defenders tabled by Norway and the resolution on the Rights of the Child which this year focused on the right to health, tabled by the EU and Uruguay.  

Iceland made two statements during the session, both of which were delivered by Iceland‘s ambassdor to the UN in Geneva, Mr. Martin Eyjólfsson. The former statement was delivered under item 2 during the general debate on the Annual Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The statement can be accessed here. The latter statement was delivered under item 7 which deals with the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories. In the statement Iceland expressed its concern over the human rights situation in Palestine and reiterated its recognition of Palestine as an independent, sovereign state.The statement can be accessed here.

Additionally, Iceland took part in several joint statements during the council, e.g. a nordic statement delivered by Sweden about the rights of children to health with a special focus on SRHR (Sexual Reproductive Health Rights). 

Below is a complete overview over the draft resolutions which Iceland supported in the Council:

 

 

Resolution title

 

Main sponor/s

Text

Description

Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka

US

A/HRC/22/L.1/Rev.1

Resolution on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka

Human rights of persons with disabilities

New Zealand and Mexico

A/HRC/22/L.4

Resolution on the work and employment of persons with disabilites

Rights of the child

EU and Uruguay

A/HRC/22/L.27/Rev.1

Resolution on the rights of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.

Freedom of Religion or Belief

 

EU

A/HRC/22/L.9

Resolution concerning freedom of religion and belief. Mandate renewal of 3 years.

National birth registration

 

Mexico and Turkey

A/HRC/22/L.14/Rev.1

Resolution regarding birth registration and the right of everyone to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Peaceful Protest

Switzerland, Turkey and Costa Rica

A/HRC/22/L.10

Resolution regarding the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protest.

Torture

 

Denmark

A/HRC/22/L11/Rev.1

Resolution concerning torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment: rehabilitation of torture victims.

Protecting human rights defenders

 

Norway

A/HRC/22/L.13

Resolution urging states to create safe and enabling environment in which human rights defenders can operate free from hindrance and insecurity.

Panel on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed

Belgium

A/HRC/22/L.18

Resolution regarding convening a panel at the 25th session on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty of executed.

Situation of human rights in the Democratic People‘s Republic of Korea

EU and Japan

A/HRC/22/L.19

Resolution concerning the human rights situation in the DPRK including a mandate extension and establishment of of a Commission of Inquiry

Situation of human rights in Myanmar

 

EU

A/HRC/22/L.20/Rev.1

Resolution regarding the human rigths situation in Myanmar including a mandate extension of Special Rapporteur of one year

Situation of human rights in the Islamic republic of Iran

Sweden

A/HRC/22/L.22

Resolution regarding the human rights situation in Iran, including a mandate extension of the Special Rapporteur of one year.

Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic

Arab Group

A/HRC/22/L.31/Rev.1

Resolution regarding the human rights situation in Syria including a mandate extension of the Independent International Commission if Inquiry.

Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

OIC

A/HRC/22/L.43

Resolution reaffirming the inalienable, permanent and unqualified right of the Palestinian peolple to self-determination.

Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

OIC

A/HRC/22/L.42

Resolution regarding Israeli settlements demanding that Israel cease all practices and actions that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people.

 

Finally, Iceland took part in the following statements:

 

Statements

 

 

 

Update by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

EU

 

Statement  made by the EU on the work of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Update by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Cross-regional group

 

Statement delivered by Switzerland on the human rights situation in Bahrain

Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

EU

 

Statement made by the EU on the protection of human rights worldwide.

       

Human Rights situations that require the Council's attention

EU

 

Statement made by the EU on the human rights situation in Syria.

Interactive Dialogue with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.

Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark

 

Statement made by the Nordic countries on the human rights situation in Syria.

Interactive Dialogue with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.

Cross-regional group

 

Cross-regional statement delivered by Libya on the human rights situation in Syria and the importance of accountability.

Human Rights Bodies and Mechanisms

EU

 

Statement made by the EU on the work of the OHCHR.

Universal Periodic Review

EU

 

Statement made by the EU on the process of the Universal Periodic Review-reports.

Human Rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories

Iceland

 

Statement made by Iceland on the human rights situation in Palestine.

Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action

EU

 

Statement made by the EU on the Vienna declaration.

Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

EU

 

Statement made by the EU on racism and human rights.

Technical assistance and capacity-building

EU

 

Statement made by the EU on technical assistance.

International Women‘s day

Finland and Mexico

 

Statement made my Finland on women‘s rights.

Annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child

Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden.

 

Statement mady by the nordic countires on the rights of the child to health with a focus on SRHR.

 

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