UN Human Rights Council - 23rd Session

The United Nations Human Rights Council held its twenty-third regular session in Geneva from 27 May to 14 June 2013.

The Human Rights Council is the supreme human rights institution in the UN system and normally convenes three times a year to address pressing human rights issues. The Council discusses and adopts resolutions on general themes related to human rights and the human rights situation in specific countries.  A total of 47 states have a seat on the Council and can vote on resolutions. Currently, Iceland has observer status in the Council.

Two issues in particular received considerable attention during the 23rd session; women’s human rights and the human rights situation in Syria. Iceland co-sponsored resolutions condemning the widespread human rights violations taking place in Syria, including the recent killings in Al Qusayr, and aligned itself to statements on behalf of the Nordic countries and the European Union.   

Iceland delivered three statements during the session, The first was delivered by Ambassador Martin Eyjolfsson during the general debate on the Annual Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The statement underlined Iceland‘s main human rights priorities based on the Annual Report. (The statement can be accessed here). The second statement was delivered during the annual full day discussion on women’s human rights and focused on violence against women based on gender indentity and/or sexual orientation. (The statement can be accessed here). Iceland delivered its third statement on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories. In the statement, Iceland voiced its concerns over the human rights situation in Palestine and continued to express hope for a two state solution. (The statement can be accessed here.)

Below is a complete overview of the draft resolutions supported by Iceland, along with several join statements it aligned itself to:

 

 

Resolution title

 

Main sponor/s

Text

Description

The deteriorating situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the recent killings in Al-Qusayr

Qatar, Turkey, US

A/HRC/23/L.1

Resolution on the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic condemning the recent killings in Al Qusayr

Independence of the judiciary

Australia, Botswana, Hungary, Mexico, Thailand

A/HRC/23/L.9

Resolution on the independence of judges and lawyers

Trafficking in persons

Germany, Philippines

A/HRC/23/L.8

Resolution on trafficking in persons especially women and children - effort to combat human trafficking in supply chain of business

Role of Freedom of Opinion and Expression in Women’s Empowerment

US, Canada, Brazil, Sierra Leone, UK, Romania, Montenegro, Qatar

A/HRC/23/L.5

Resolution on freedom of opinion and expression: empowerment of women and girls.

Accelerating efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women

Canada

A/HRC/23/L.28

Resolution on accelerating efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women with a focus on remedies for women who have been subjected to violence.

Elimination of discrimination against women

Colombia, Mexico

A/HRC/23/L.13

Resolution on elimination of discrimination against women. Mandate extenstion of the working group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practise.

Internally displaced persons

Austria

A/HRC/23/L.14

Resolution on the human rights of internally displaced persons.

The negative impact of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights

Morocco, Austria, Indonesia, Poland

A/HRC/23/L.19

Resolution on the negative impact of corruption on human rights.

Attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism

Gabon on behalf of African Group

A/HRC/23/L.25

Resolution condemning attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism.

The situation of human rights in Syrian Arab Republic

Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, USA, UK

A/HRC/23/L.29

Resolution on the situation of human rights in Syria and the need to grant access to the Commission of Inquiry.

The situation of human rights in Belarus

EU

A/HRC/23/L.18

Resolution concerning the situation of human rights in Belarus.

Situation on human rights in Eritrea

Djibouti, Somalia, Nigeria

A/HRC/23/L.17

Resolution concerning the human rights situation in Eritrea.

National human rights institutions

Australia

A/HRC/23/L.15

Resolution on national human rights institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights.

 

 

Statements

 

 

 

Urgent debate on the Syrian Arab Republic and the recent killings in Al Qusayr

EU

 

Statement made by the EU on the deteriorating situation in Syria, condemning the recent killings in Al Qusayr.

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

Iceland

 

Statement made by Iceland underlining the country‘s main emphasis on the human rights agenda in connection to the report of the HC.

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.

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.

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

Cross-regional group

 

Freedom of expression on the internet.

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

Cross-regional group

 

Statement delivered by Czech Republic on equal political participation.

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

Norway on behalf of a group of countries

 

Statement addressing

discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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.

Annual full-day meeting on women‘s human rights

Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden.

 

Statement mady by the nordic countires on the human rights of women with a focus on SRHR.

Annual full-day meeting on women‘s human rights

Iceland

 

Statement delivered by Iceland on violence against women based on gender indentity and/or sexual orientation.

General discussion on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

EU

 

Ending child, early and forced marriage.

 

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