UN Human Rights Council - 21st Session

Photo: Oddur Ingi Stefánsson - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The 21st UN Human Rights Council took place on September 10-28 in Geneva. The Council is the supreme human rights institution in the UN system and 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 warrants 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 and make statements in the plenary.

            As it is, perhaps, the most pressing contemporary human rights concern, the human rights situation in Syria was discussed in the Council and a resolution was passed, of which Iceland is a co-sponsor. Further, Iceland made a statement under item 7 on Palestine where it expressed concern over the human rights situation in the country and reiterated its recognition of Palestine as an independent, sovereign state. Also, Iceland was a co-sponsor to a common Nordic statement on maternal health and mortality, with a special focus on female genital mutilation, that received broader support than expected.

            Below is a complete overview over the draft resolutions which Iceland supported in the Council as well as the statements it either made or co-sponsored.

 

21. UN Human Rights Council
10. - 28. September 2012

Resolution Title Main Sponsors Text Description
Promotion and Protection of Human Rights      
The human right to safe drinking water

Germany, Spain

A/HRC/21/L1
Resolution defining the access to safe water for drinking and sanitation as a human right.
 
Preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights Burkina Faso, New Zealand, Colombia A/HRC/21/L.10 Resolution encouraging the UN system and states to use technical standards in policy-making in order to prevent maternal mortality.
Business and human rights Norway, Ghana, India, Russia, Argentina A/HRC/21/L.14/Rev.1 Resolution encouraging the UN system, states and private companies to incorporate a human rights approach to their policy-making  and business activities.
Transitional justice Switzerland A/HRC/21/L.24 Resolution on transitional justice in conflict areas with a particular focus on impunity and violence against women.
Freedom of assembly and association United States, Nigeria, Indonesia, Mexico, Czech Republic, Maldives, Lithuania  A/HRC/21/L.25 Resolution defining the right to freedom of assembly and assocation as a human right.
Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and human rights France, Chile, Peru, Senegal  A/HRC/21/L.20 Resolution encouraging the UN system and states to pay special attention to the human rights needs of persons living in extreme poverty when formulating policies on poverty reduction.
Human rights education Costa Rica A/HRC/21/L.22 Resolution promoting increased human rights education.
Safety of journalists Austria, Brazil, Morocco, Switzerland, Tunisia A/HRC/21/L.6 Resolution encouraging the UN system and states to pay special attention to the protection and safety of journalists, especially those operating in conflict areas.
Panel on the impact of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights Morocco, Austria, Brazil, Indonesia, Poland A/HRC/21/L.13 Resolution seeking to establish a panel on the effects of corruption on the protection of human rights.
Human Rights Situations that require the HRC's attention      
Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic Morocco, Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Kuwait A/HRC/21/L.32 Resolution on the human rights situation in Syria.
Follow up and implementation of the VDPA      
Decision to establish a panel to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action Austria  A/HRC/21/L.12  
Technical assistance and capacity-building      
Enhancement of technical cooperation and capacity-building in the field of human rights Thailand, Brazil, Honduras, India, Norway, Singapore, Turkey, Malaysia, Mauritius A/HRC/21/L.11 Resolution on the provision of technical assistance and capacity-building measures to help states comply with UN requirements in the field of human rights.
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
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 at the 21st session of the Human Rights Council Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark   Statement made by the Nordic countries on the human rights situation in Syria.
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 EU   Statement made by the EU on the human rights situation in Palestine.
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.
Joint Statement on gender-based killings Spain   Statement made by Spain on gender-based killings which received broad cross-regional support.
Joint statement on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women and Girls Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark   Joint statement on behalf of the Nordic countries on maternal health and human rights. The statement received broad cross-regional support.
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.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session21/Pages/ResDecStat.aspx

 

 

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