The 34th Session of the Human Rights Council is ending this 24th of March. What were the main subjects that have been discussed into the rooms of the United Nations Office in Geneva? What did the Human Rights Council decided?
Even though numerous topics were in the center of debates and discussions (such as, equality, non-discrimination, terrorism, women’s right, freedom of religion, torture, freedom of expression or armed conflicts), four main themes have been talked over: the situation of human rights in specific countries, the issue of minorities in the world, climate change and children’s rights.
Human Right in specific countries
Some national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations pointed out many human rights violence in a large number of countries: Mexico, South Sudan, Burundi, Brazil, Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Syria and many others. The discussions were focused on war crimes, freedom of religion, migration, torture, transitional justice, women’s right, protection of human rights defenders, peace process …
However, the biggest concerns were on Sri Lanka, Yemen and Myanmar. Indeed, many conferences took place to report the systematic human rights violations in those countries and to focus on drafting solutions to stop the violence.
Another major issue disputed is the right of minorities. Permanent missions, intergovernmental organizations and NGO’s argued on the mutual respect and peaceful coexistence as a condition of interreligious peace and stability. They also worked on equal citizenship rights, the minorities in Iran, Iraq or South Asia.
Environment and climate change
Environment and climate change are nowadays matters that proved their importance. During this session of Human Rights Council, NGOs and permanent missions worked on Paris Climate Agreement in the purpose to ensure a human right approach, the matter of education of children on climate change and the role and protection of human rights defender to ensure sustainable development.
Violation of children’s right were deeply underlined. The international community has to end violence against children, protect them more during armed conflicts, stop illegal adoptions, preserve their dignity, help child soldiers, and support the refugee children crisis.
In response to those issues, the Council adopted some resolutions. For instance, the resolution (A/HRC/34/L.1) promotes reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka and requests the Government of Sri Lanka to implement fully the measures identified by the Council in its resolution 30/1.
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.6) on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues for a period of three years under the same terms as provided for by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 25/5 and calls upon all States to cooperate with and assist the Special Rapporteur in the performance of the tasks and duties.
In a resolution (A/HRC/34/L.9) on effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of all human rights, the Council strongly condemns all terrorist acts as criminal and unjustifiable, and expresses grave concern at their detrimental effects on the enjoyment of human rights and urges States to take appropriate measures to duly investigate the incitement, preparation or perpetration of acts of terrorism, and to bring to justice those engaged in such acts