Introductory remarks

The 40th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC40) was held from Monday 25 February to Friday 22 March 2019 at the United Nations Office in Geneva. It included the holding of 5 panel discussions and 250 side events, the presentation of 83 reports, the adoption of 29 resolutions and the review of 14 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) outcomes of UN member States.

The Geneva Centre regularly followed the proceedings of this 40th session, in particular those relating to the human rights situation in Arab States. In this regard, it delivered two oral statements on 14 March, within the framework of the UPR outcomes of Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Section A below presents an overview of the UPR outcomes of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, including a summary of the statements by the Geneva Centre.

Section B briefly presents the other proceedings of HRC40 in relation to Muslim issues.

 

Section A: Consideration of the UPR outcomes of Saudi Arabia and Jordan

A.I: Saudi Arabia

Presentation by the country concerned

In his response to the UPR report, the President of the Human Rights Commission of Saudi Arabia stated that most of the recommendations in the Working Group’s report had been implemented. Of the 258 submitted, 182 had been fully adopted and 32 partially approved. Their implementation involved both government institutions and civil society. With regard to the recommendations calling for withdrawal of reservations to international Conventions, he observed that these do not prevent the implementation of the Conventions. Furthermore, the representative of Saudi Arabia stated that the recommendations pertaining to measures to combat terrorism had not been adopted as the national law defining terrorism is very clear and therefore the innocent and the unarmed are not affected. He added that there existed no secret detention centres, which were forbidden under the law. Recommendations thereon were thus considered interference in the national legal system and consequently in violation of international law. He further observed that human rights activists were detained only if they affected the public order, which was in line with international standards.

Among the other recommendations implemented, the representative of Saudi Arabia cited the dissemination of human rights at the official and social levels, strengthening of human rights education and culture, the protection and promotion of the rights of disabled people, children and women, including gender-equality and non-discrimination in various spheres of society. The recommendations on freedom of expression, association and religion had all been accepted and implemented. The recommendations relating to acceptance and facilitation of future visits of Special Rapporteurs were partially accepted as they would be evaluated in light of the need to examine the issues concerned. Finally, the representative of Saudi Arabia confirmed that capital punishment was inflicted only as a last resort concerning the most serious crimes.

Statement by the Geneva Centre

In its statement on Saudi Arabia, the Geneva Centre commended the various steps that the Kingdom had taken towards strengthening the protection and promotion of human rights which reflected a number of important recommendations contained in the report of the Working Group on the UPR. It welcomed the adoption and efforts towards implementation, as recommended in the report, of “Saudi Vision 2030” whose framework includes goals which address a number of human rights. In particular, the Centre congratulated Saudi Arabia for its implementation of several recommendations pertaining to amendments to legal frameworks in compliance with international human rights standards, development of a human rights education system to strengthen the culture of human rights, formulation of a national human rights strategy, combatting human trafficking and the promotion of the freedom of expression and association. It welcomed the specific promotion and protection of the rights of women including gender equality and non-discrimination, children and people with disabilities. The Geneva Centre encouraged Saudi Arabia to ratify the International Covenants on civil and political rights and on economic, social and cultural rights, the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, and to apply a moratorium on the death penalty. Furthermore, it invited Saudi Arabia to set a date for a visit by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. The Centre seized this opportunity to congratulate Saudi Arabia for having adopted the Global Compact for Migration.

Views expressed by States

  • The United Kingdom stressed that diplomats be allowed to observe the trials of human rights defenders and a refusal would constitute a violation of the Vienna Convention. It observed that there persist limits to the freedom of religion, in particular of minorities, and that torture continues to be exercised.
  • Yemen thanked Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian aid and commended it for reinforcing the participation and integration of women in politics and society.
  • Algeria congratulated Saudi Arabia for its measures to promote gender-equality and human rights education and culture.
  • Belgium called for the release of those detained for having exercised their freedom of expression. It regretted that the recommendation to abolish the death penalty for the under 18 was only partially accepted.

Statements by NGOs

  • Most of the NGOs who spoke criticized Saudi Arabia for unfairly detaining human rights defenders, in particular women; practicing torture; violating fundamental rights especially freedom of thought, expression, association and religion. They stated that the law for combatting terrorism was misused to permit such violations. They stressed the need to revise the definition of terrorism in Saudi law and render it more specific and accurate. They also reiterated the call for Saudi Arabia to accept visits by all Special Rapporteurs unconditionally, on themes such as freedom of expression, association, extra-judicial killings.
  • Human Rights Watch added that a moratorium on the death penalty be established immediately, citing 800 executions last year including for non-violent crimes. It also called for cooperation with human rights bodies and mechanisms to investigate violations of humanitarian and human rights law in Yemen, including accusations of war crimes.
  • Amnesty International in turn asked that Saudi Arabia also take measures to stop the systematic discrimination against refugees, migrant workers and minorities, as the recommendations thereupon had not been accepted. Furthermore, it reiterated the call that the laws protecting the fundamental rights of freedom of expression, association and religion be brought in line with established international standards.

A.II: Jordan

Presentation by the country concerned        

The Government affirmed its commitment to continue to promote and protect human rights and to work towards their consolidation and enforcement in line with the human rights conventions it has ratified, its heritage, political will, and in accordance with the Jordanian Constitution, which guarantees the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals in all walks of life. Rule of law, comprehensive reforms aimed at improving human rights and fundamental freedoms have been prioritized under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn al Hussein. It was likewise observed that Jordan has also prioritized the empowerment of women and the promotion of gender equality in various economic, political, social and administrative spheres. In this context, the Government launched the “Empowering Women in the Public Sector” programme and the cabinet formed a ministerial committee to empower women.

The Government affirmed its commitment to promote and support national human rights monitoring institutions and mechanisms, noting that the financial allocations of the Jordanian National Committee for Women and the National Center for Human Rights were raised. For several years, Jordan has been facing extraordinary challenges imposed by its presence in a volatile region that has been afflicted by conflicts, civil wars and the emergence of terrorist and extremist groups, which increased the burden on Jordan through the influx of massive numbers of refugees into its territory and augmented the security challenges on its borders as well as the pressure on its economy. Despite these challenges, the Government stated that it has been able to achieve remarkable progress in its political and administrative reform programmes, and claimed to have maintained its contractual obligations regarding human rights and its determination to continue the promotion and safeguarding of human rights as a higher national interest.

Statement by the Geneva Centre

In its statement on Jordan, the Geneva Centre welcomed the endeavours made by Amman to enhance the improvement of its own human rights situation, and to comply with the recommendations put forward by UN member States during the UPR review process. In particular, it took note of the measures adopted with regard to enhancing women’s rights, promoting the right to work and advancing the right to education. The Geneva Centre encouraged Jordan to implement the remaining recommendations it had approved, particularly in relation to strengthening the independence of the judiciary system, enhancing capacity building for law enforcement agencies and combatting trafficking in persons. It likewise appealed to Jordan to ratify other human rights treaties to which it is not yet a party, including the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Views expressed by States

  • Bahrain appreciated the positive engagement with the recommendations received, including those submitted by Bahrain, as well as the adoption of a number of policies, legislations and national action plans in compliance with human rights principles and national, regional and international norms
  • Belgium appreciated the efforts made by Jordan in implementing previous recommendations. It noted that its recommendation on the harmonization of Jordan’s anti-terrorist law in relation to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights dispositions has not been accepted and was considered as already being implemented by Jordan.
  • Egypt commended the continued cooperation of Jordan with the United Nations human rights mechanisms, its adoption of the National Action Plan 2016-2025, and the establishment of a Royal Committee for developing the legal system and supporting the rule of law.
  • Kuwait commended Jordan for accepting a large number of recommendations, including those presented by Kuwait, which invited Jordan to take the necessary measures to put in place procedures linked to alternative sentencing measures and to adopt laws promoting the rights of women in the workplace.

Statements by NGOs

  • Amnesty International said that legislation still discriminated against women and girls, and therefore, welcomed the acceptance of recommendations to protect women against gender-based and domestic violence and ensure their equal access to justice and jobs
  • International Organisation for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination appreciated progress made to advance the human rights situation. It referred, however, to challenges regarding the rights of women, fundamental freedoms and the right to participate in public and political life.

 

SECTION B: Other Proceedings of the HRC

B.I High-level panel discussions

B.I.1: High-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty

Summary:

At the 4th meeting, on 26 February 2019, pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 36/17, the Council held a biennial high-level panel discussion to further exchange views on the question of the death penalty, with a focus on “human rights violations related to the use of the death penalty, in particular with respect to the rights to non-discrimination and equality”.

Statements by Arab States:

  • Iraq stated that every country had the sovereign right to choose its judicial system, as a reflection of its society and culture.  It stressed that very serious crimes had been committed by terrorist organizations in Iraq. 
  • Saudi Arabia stated that it used the death penalty for only the most serious crimes and in the most serious circumstances, after a fair trial had been guaranteed.  All procedures were in accordance with international standards as Islamic Sharia lay down the provisions of the punishments to guarantee the supreme rights of the people.  All States had the sovereign right to bring justice through their own procedures.

B.I.2: High-level panel discussion on the mitigation and countering of rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies

Summary:

At the 40th meeting, on 15 March 2019, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 73/262, the Human Rights Council held a debate on the mitigation and countering of rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies. In her opening statement, Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that racism was contrary to everything the United Nations and the Council stood for, an end to racism, intolerance and xenophobia, and an end to discrimination of every kind.  The murderous Islamophobic and terrorist attacks just hours ago on two mosques in New Zealand were another terrible reminder that racism killed.  The debate was prompted by resolution 73/262 which expressed alarm at the rise of movements based on racist and extremist ideologies spreading xenophobia.

Statements by Arab States:

  • Organization of Islamic Cooperation was concerned at the wave of populism spreading across the globe, as most populists responded to problems not by providing solutions, but by scapegoating minorities.  As such, countering populist nationalism also required the strengthening of social and cultural education. 
  • Bahrain, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, condemned the attacks in New Zealand, stressing that nationalist populism was the manifestation of discrimination and an attack on the diversity of the other. 
  • Saudi Arabia expressed condolences to the victims of the terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand.  It called on Governments to ensure balanced policies that integrated Muslims in their societies and to adopt laws that prevented racism against Muslims. 
  • State of Palestine reminded that the Israeli Parliament had approved almost 60 racist laws, including the Nation State Law, which identified Israel as a Jewish State, meaning that the right to self-determination was unique to Jewish people. 

B.II: Interactive dialogue with special procedures mandate holders:

B.II.1: Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders

Summary:

At the 10th meeting, on 28 February 2019, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, presented his reports (A/HRC/40/60 and Add.2-3). Mr Forst started by paying homage to all women human rights defenders who were assassinated for defending their rights and defying those who stood in their path. These deaths – he said – could have been avoided if States had honoured their engagements to protect human rights defenders in their work.  The resilience and determination of women human rights defenders to fight for and gain their human rights was admirable.  The mandate of the Special Rapporteur was not to establish blame or to shame countries, but to advise and develop in the spirit of cooperation. 

Statements by Arab States:

  • Saudi Arabia regretted that many of the references in the report on the rights of female Saudi Arabian human rights defenders were unfounded.  Saudi Arabia noted that the Kingdom had always complied with international human rights treaties when it came to the application of justice. 
  • Morocco welcomed credible actions carried out by women human rights defenders throughout the world, allowing greater equality for women.  Morocco had a strategy in place to combat corruption and had set up a national preventive mechanism.
  • Bahrain expressed deep concern about the reluctance of organizations to address gender-based discrimination and violence. The commitment of the Special Rapporteur was shared to eliminate any additional risks faced by women defenders.

B.II.2: Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or Punishment

Summary:

At the 10th meeting, on 28 February 2019, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Nils Melzer, presented his reports (A/HRC/40/59 and Add.1-3). Mr Melzer lamented that corruption was widespread in both developed and developing States.  The report outlined the fact that the closest causal interaction between corruption and torture existed where a particular act of corruption involved the transfer of an ‘undue advantage’ that amounted to torture or ill treatment. 

Statements by Arab States:

  • State of Palestine noted that Israel had unleashed a systematic campaign against legitimate Palestinian human rights organizations and human rights defenders who had spent decades monitoring and advocating against human rights violations. 
  • Jordan called for more accountability and transparency on corruption.  The constitution of Jordan stipulated that any individual deprived of their liberty must be treated with respect to their dignity and that any confessions made under torture were void. 
  • Saudi Arabia regretted that many of the references in the report on the rights of female Saudi Arabian human rights defenders were unfounded.  Saudi Arabia noted that the Kingdom had always complied with international human rights treaties when it came to the application of justice.

B.II.3: Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism

Summary:

At the 13th meeting, on 1 March 2019, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, presented her reports (A/HRC/40/52 and Add.1-5). The Special Rapporteur outlined the strategic priorities of the mandate addressing the importance of advancing the protection of civil society in parallel with regulating counter-terrorism. She underscored the contribution of the mandate to one of the most important global interfaces, the intersection between security and the protection of human rights.

Statements by Arab States:

  • Saudi Arabia, speaking as a concerned country, said that Saudi Arabia’s counter-terrorism measures took into account legal and other frameworks when dealing with terror suspects so that they could combat terrorism while protecting human rights. The definition of terrorism, which the Rapporteur characterized as too broad, had been revised in order to ensure that its application had no negative effects on civil and political rights.
  • Bahrain, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, stressed that terrorism was the main threat to life, human dignity and human rights. Such criminal practices had a negative impact on children, the cultural heritage of humanity, and on social structures, so States were called on to work objectively to eliminate all negative aspects.
  • Algeria reiterated its appeal to increase international cooperation and collective action in the long term, which dealt with the socio-economic factors that led to acts of violence. Algeria placed special emphasis on the fight against the underlying causes of terrorism, notably by putting in place policies which focused on de-radicalization.
  • Jordan reaffirmed its condemnation of terrorism by extremist groups. Jordan noted that it had undertaken an integrated approach, which countered the root causes behind terrorism, and had conducted awareness promotion efforts to combat terrorism. 
  • United Arab Emirates agreed that terrorism represented a threat to the rule of law and human rights, so it required efforts on national and international levels and through fostering cooperation. The United Arab Emirates had set up Hedayah Centre to combat violent extremism.

B.II.4: Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

Summary:

At the 17th meeting, on 5 March 2019, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Ahmed Shaheed, presented his reports (A/HRC/40/58 and Add.1). Mr. Shaheed noted that freedom of expression was evidently indispensable to the enjoyment of all other rights, including for the meaningful enjoyment of freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief.  Whether they sought to uphold public order, foster inter-religious harmony, or combat incitement, laws that punished or prevented criticism of religion or belief per se, or that censored expression which may offend the sensitivities of adherents to a particular belief, effectively undermined the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief. 

Statements by Arab States:

  • Tunisia, speaking as a concerned country, reminded that the visit of the Special Rapporteur had happened upon the invitation of the Tunisian Government, as part of its efforts to advance human rights of the country’s democratic transition.  Freedom of religion or belief was one of the main principles of the democratic transition in the country.  
  • Jordan recalled that at the international level, it had been one of the countries that had proposed a resolution to celebrate religious diversity and harmony. 
  • United Arab Emirates thanked the Special Rapporteur for highlighting cases that could restrict religious freedom or belief when used outside the framework of international law.  The country was a model of religious acceptance, and had in place a federal decree which banned any insults against divinities or prophets, and the law protected all people against religious intolerance. 

 

BIII: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

B.III.1: Interactive dialogue with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

Summary:

At the 29th meeting, on 12 March 2019, pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 37/29, the Chairperson of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (COI), Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, presented the report of the Commission (A/HRC/40/70). Mr Pinheiro warned that the reduction in fighting since Government forces recaptured rebel territory in 2018, does not mean that the conflict has come to an end. He highlighted the city of Idlib as an area of particular concern, and the large numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons as pressing human rights and humanitarian issues.

Statements by Arab States:

  • The Syrian Arab Republic, speaking as the concerned country, noted that it did not recognise the mandate of the COI and dismissed its report, claiming, inter alia, that the COI had ignored the Government’s efforts to counter terrorism. Syria concluded by asking the Council not to renew the mandate of the COI.
    • Comment: By a vote of 28 in favour, five against and 14 abstentions, the Council extended, for a period of one year, the mandate of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic and deplored the fact that the conflict in this country continued in its ninth year with its devastating impact on the civilian population.[1]

B.III.2: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967

Summary:

At the 41st meeting, on 18 March 2019, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Michael Link, presented his report (A/HRC/40/). The UN Special Rapporteur stated that Israel had not allowed him to visit the occupied territory since he had assumed this mandate three years ago.  The situation in Gaza was moving from a tragic human-made crisis to a humanitarian catastrophe.  Settler violence in the West Bank was on the rise, said Mr Link.  The Special Rapporteur highlighted the Palestinians’ right to water, natural resources and the environment. Forced evictions continued to occur in Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.  Mr. Lynk highlighted the perilous situation of human rights defenders in Palestine and Israel, as Israeli authorities were continuing their efforts to silence them, including through disinformation campaigns, as well as the targeting of civil society funding sources. 

Statements by Arab States:

  • State of Palestine, speaking as the concerned country, thanked the Special Rapporteur and condemned Israel’s refusal to participate in the process. Israel was attempting to hide these crimes and violations of humanitarian law, flouting the norms of international treaties and laws which Israel was bound by. 
  • Bahrain, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, said Israel had continuously failed to cooperate with the Council, its mechanisms and the mandate holder.  The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, especially their right to self-determination, were enshrined in international instruments and should be implemented immediately. 
  • Algeria expressed it’s regret over the occupying power’s refusal to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur.  They reiterated their support for his conclusions, notably bringing about an end to the occupation of the Palestinian people, and called for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and their own sovereign State.

B.III.3: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar

Summary:

During the discussion of 11 March 2019, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said that more negative than positive developments had occurred during the last reporting period, and regretted that her repeated attempts to engage with the Government had been fruitless.  She noted with concern that under the Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law, thousands of people living in rural areas in Myanmar might be charged with criminal trespass if they continued to use their lands without a permit from the Government.  She further expressed her deep concern at the serious downplaying of the ongoing humanitarian crisis and the suppression of the human rights crisis affecting this state. She noted the absence of evidence that Myanmar was fulfilling its duty to protect all its people from human rights abuses on the basis of equality, and particularly in the areas affected by conflict, such as Rakhine.

Statements by Arab States:

  • Saudi Arabia expressed surprise that the Special Rapporteur had mentioned in her report that it had deported several Rohingya.  Saudi Arabia supported Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, and also hosted them in Saudi Arabia.  It called on Myanmar to put an end to the acts of violence against the Rohingya minority.
  • Organization of Islamic Cooperation said Myanmar’s lack of progress in resolving the citizenship issue for the Rohingya was hampering progress in the safe repatriation process and failed to address the root causes of the crisis in Rakhine state.  It urged Myanmar to cooperate with the Rapporteur and to implement the recommendations of the Annan Commission.

 

B.IV: Resolutions

 Resolutions adopted in relation to the human rights situation in Arab countries[2]

  • In resolution A/HRC/40/L.4 entitled “human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan,” the Council expressed grave concern about the Israeli practices in the occupied Syrian Golan highlighting the arbitrary arrests of Syrians, the lack of due process guarantees afforded to Syrians and the unlawful mine-laying practices of the Israeli occupation forces in the occupied Syrian Golan.
    • Adopted by vote (26-16-5)
      • Countries from NAM, the African and Arab Groups voted in favor of the resolution whereas members of WEOG voted  against
  • In resolution A/HRC/40/L.5 on “The negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights” the Council requested the Special Rapporteur to focus on the resources and compensation necessary to promote accountability and reparations for victims in his next report and requested the Office of the High Commissioner to organize a biennial panel discussion entitled “The way forward to a United Nations declaration on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of all human rights, including the right to development”, for the forty-second session of the Human Rights Council.
    • Adopted by vote (27-15-5)
      • Countries from NAM with a pro-Western stance (Mexico, Senegal, Peru, Argentina and Afghanistan) abstained. However, voting pattern was largely similar to A/HRC/40/L.4.
  • In resolution A/HRC/40/L.6/Rev.1 on “technical assistance and capacity-building to improve human rights in Libya” requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor and report on human rights violations and abuses across Libya and to establish the facts and circumstances of such abuses and violations with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring full individual accountability.
    • Adopted without a vote
  • In resolution A/HRC/40/L.7 on “the human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” the Council demanded that the Syrian authorities cooperate fully with the Human Rights Council and the Commission of Inquiry by granting the Commission immediate, full and unfettered access throughout the country. It condemned in the “strongest possible terms” the repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian authorities. 
    • Adopted by vote (28-5-14)
      • Countries from WEOG voted in favor of the resolution whereas some members of NAM (China, Cuba, Iraq and Egypt) voted against, and countries from the African Group as well as some from Asia (India, Nepal) abstained.
  • In resolution A/HRC/40/L.19 entitled “situation of human rights in Myanmar” the Council expressed grave concern at continuing reports of serious human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar, including sexual and gender-based violence and violations and abuses against children, in particular in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States, and called upon the Myanmar authorities, in particular the Myanmar military and security forces, to end immediately violence and all violations of international law in Myanmar. The Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar for a further period of one year, requested the Special Rapporteur to present an oral progress report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-first and forty-second sessions and to submit a report to the Third Committee of the General Assembly at its seventy-fourth session and to the Council at its forty-third session.
    • Adopted by vote (37-3-7)
      • Countries from OIC, WEOG and the Arab Group voted in favour whereas some Asian countries (China, the Philippines but also Cuba) voted against.  Some African countries (Senegal, Angola, DRC, Cameroon) abstained.  
  • In resolution A/HRC/40/L.25 entitled “Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, the Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to strengthen the field presence of her Office in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, and to deploy the personnel and expertise necessary to monitor and document the ongoing violations of international law.
    • Adopted with vote (23-8-15)
      • Countries from OIC, the African and Arab Groups voted in favor whereas some members of WEOG (Australia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Czech Republic voted against while others (Croatia, Italy, UK) abstained.
  • In resolution A/HRC/40/L.26 on the “right of the Palestinian people to self-determination”, the Council confirmed that the right of the Palestinian people to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources must be used in the interest of their national development, the well-being of the Palestinian people and as part of the realization of their right to self-determination.
    • Adopted with vote (41-3-2)
      • Denmark, Australia and UK voted against whereas DRC and Cameroon abstained.
  • In resolution A/HRC/40/L.27 on the “human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, the Council demanded that Israel cease all of its settlement activities, the construction of the wall and any other measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
    • Adopted with vote (39-3-5)
      • Same voting pattern as with A/HRC/40/L.26.
  • In resolution A/HRC/40/L.28 entitled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan,” the Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to report to the Human Rights Council on the implementation of the provisions of the present resolution at its forty-third session, with particular emphasis on the policies and practices linked to the settlement enterprise that discriminate against the Palestinian population.
    • Adopted with vote (32-5-10)
      • Same voting pattern as with A/HRC/40/L.26.

[1] See more at https://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpNewsByYear_en)/F8666286FD4F67E7C12583C5006579ED?OpenDocument

[2] See more at https://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpNewsByYear_en)/F8666286FD4F67E7C12583C5006579ED?OpenDocument

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