Accomplishments at the Human Rights Council 21st Session

The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva just concluded its 21st session, which was the last regular session of the United States' first term on the Council. Since we joined in 2009, working together with a broad range of cross regional partners, we made significant progress across a wide array of important human rights issues.

Early in the session, the United States along with the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Lithuania, the Maldives, Mexico, and Nigeria, presented a resolution on the rights of freedom of association and assembly. The resolution reaffirms the importance of respect for the rights of peaceful association and assembly as essential components of democracy. The resolution calls upon States to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, a mandate that was established two years ago through a U.S.-led resolution.

The Council also maintained its strong pressure on the Assad regime in Syria, adopting its fifth resolution on that country this year. The United States was proud to co-sponsor the resolution, which renewed the mandate of the Syria Commission of Inquiry (COI) and enables the COI to continue its important work documenting widespread and systematic crimes against the people of Syria.

I also want to note the African Group's leadership on a resolution on the human rights situation in the Republic of Mali, the Council's second resolution on Mali this year. Adopted by consensus, the resolution condemns human rights abuses and violations throughout the country and renews the Council's call for an immediate end of all human rights violations and acts of violence and destruction of cultural and religious sites.

The Council, with the African Group's leadership, also adopted a resolution that renewed and strengthened the mandate of the Independent Expert on Sudan. Sudan's human rights record is one of persistent abuse, including recent attacks on civilians in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile provinces, and includes severe restrictions on peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. I appreciate the attention this resolution will bring to these abuses as well as the threats facing demonstrators, civil society, and journalists.

So, another positive session but obviously a lot more remains to be done. Just as the HRC is already working on its next session, the United States is also seeking a second term at the Council.



Gaby h.
United Kingdom
October 6, 2012

Gaby H. in the United Kingdom writes:

In this blog of yours, I found so many interesting themes and even if I did not yet responded to none, you to know that I read them with great interest. Success.

Davey W.
California, USA
October 8, 2012

Davey W. in California writes:

Year after year the HRC deems it important to condemn certain states for abuses -- this year Sudan -- and to cite its good work worldwide. Yet, year after year, the abuses of innocents at the hands of Israel are disregarded. These abuses, including the "abuse" of death for 250 children in "Cast Lead" and abuse continuing on a daily basis in the West Bank do not move the HRC.

Israel is a sham, has made a sham of the UN and is making a sham of the US. This one nothing state, unprincipled entirely in its dealings, is emptying history and institutions of meaning, compromising well-meaning statesmen and sovereign states one after another and making fools of Americans. And this is for nothing more than the greed of a few families in Israel.

Shame on you.

United States
October 9, 2012

Mari in the U.S.A. writes:

I agree with Davey, and I also note that there is never any condemnation of human rights abuses by the British proxies in the that region, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.

Assistant Secretary Brimmer Addresses Human Rights Council on Syria
October 5, 2012


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