Tuesday, March 31, 2009

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF INDEPENDENT EXPERT ON SOMALIA


Medeshi
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL CLOSES TENTH SESSION, EXTENDING MANDATE OF INDEPENDENT EXPERT ON SOMALIA
Also Adopts Resolutions on Human Rights Situation in the Democratic Republic Of Congo and on Racial Discrimination, Among Others
27 March 2009
This afternoon, the Human Rights Council concluded its tenth session after adopting seven resolutions on human rights bodies and mechanisms; racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action; and on technical assistance and capacity building, notably extending the mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Somalia for six months. The report of the tenth session of the Human Rights Council was also adopted ad referendum
Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi, President of the Human Rights Council, in concluding remarks, recalled that, when it opened earlier this month with a High-Level Segment, some 70 dignitaries had spoken and, for the first time in the history of the Council, the President of the General Assembly had addressed the Council. In the course of the session, the Council adopted some 34 resolutions and decisions related to various issues in the field of human rights. Most of those texts had been adopted by consensus. The Council also appointed a new Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, elected four members of the Advisory Committee and had created a new mandate: the Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights.
In a resolution on the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, the Council welcomed the initiative of the Platform for Human Rights Education and Training to organize a seminar to further reflection on elements to be included in the draft declaration; and requested the Advisory Committee to submit its draft Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training to the Council for consideration at its thirteenth session in March 2010.
Concerning the Social Forum, the Council requested that the next meeting be held during 2009, in Geneva, and that it should focus on negative impacts of economic and financial crises on efforts to combat poverty; national anti-poverty programmes; and international assistance and cooperation in combating poverty; and decided that the Social Forum would remain open to the participation of representatives of United Nations Member States and all other interested stakeholders.
By the resolution on publication of reports completed by the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, adopted with 29 votes in favour, 3 against, and 15 abstentions, the Council decided that all reports of the Sub-Commission mandated by the Commission on Human Rights that had been completed and submitted to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights would be issued as United Nations documents.
In the resolution on elaboration of complementary standards to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted by a vote of 34 in favour and 13 against, with no abstentions, the Council endorsed the road map adopted by the Ad Hoc Committee of the Human Rights Council on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards during the second part of its first session as a guiding framework document for all future work in that regard.
In a resolution entitled “From rhetoric to reality: a global call for concrete action against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”, the Council requested the Secretary-General to examine the challenges that had impeded the work of the Group of Five Independent Eminent Experts in fully discharging its mandate in following up on the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, and, in that regard, requested that the Council take appropriate action in accordance with its process of review, rationalization and improvement of mandates.
Concerning assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights, the Council invited the Independent Expert to continue his work till the end of September 2009 and encouraged in the meantime the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to reach a comprehensive agreement with Somali Authorities on technical cooperation and human and institutional capacity building at the national and regional level in the field of human rights in Somalia.
By the resolution on situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the strengthening of technical cooperation and consultative services, adopted with 34 votes in favour, none against, and 14 abstentions, the Council welcomed the commitment of the Government to pursuing technical cooperation with the various thematic representatives and special rapporteurs; encouraged the Democratic Republic of the Congo to finalize the establishment process of a national commission for human rights; and called on the Office of the High Commissioner to increase and enhance its technical assistance programmes and activities, in consultation with the authorities.
Speaking in introduction of resolutions were Morocco, Cuba, the Czech Republic, on behalf of the European Union, South Africa, on behalf of the African Group, and Egypt, also on behalf of the African Group.
Speaking in general comments were Germany, Brazil, Chile and India.
Speaking in explanations of the vote before the vote were Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Russian Federation, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Cuba, China, Germany, on behalf of the European Union, and Chile.
Japan, Brazil and Italy spoke in explanation of vote after the vote.
Concerned countries speaking today were Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo.
After the adoption of all resolutions under all items the Observer States Singapore, Sri Lanka, Côte d’Ivoire, Spain, Turkey, Thailand and Algeria took the floor for to make general comments.
The eleventh session of the Human Rights Council will take place in Geneva from 2 to 18 June 2009.
Read full text here: http://www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B9C2E/(httpNewsByYear_en)/042684379605A48FC12575860050E986?OpenDocument

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