ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL HOLDS TWENTY-FOURTH REGULAR SESSION FROM 9 TO 27 SEPTEMBER

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL HOLDS TWENTY-FOURTH REGULAR SESSION FROM 9 TO 27 SEPTEMBER
Commission of Inquiry on Syria to Present Latest Report, Commission of Inquiry on Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to Present Oral Update
3 September 2013

The Human Rights Council will hold its twenty-fourth regular session from 9 to 27 September 2013 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, during which it will hear presentations from 19 independent human rights experts and bodies and hold panels and discussions on the human rights of children whose parents have been given the death penalty or executed; gender integration; and human rights and indigenous peoples. The 47-member body will also hear the presentation of the latest report of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria and a preliminary oral update from the Commission of Inquiry on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

On the first day of the session, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will update the Council on the activities of her Office, followed by a general debate on the annual report of the High Commissioner. 

During the first week, the Council will hear the presentation of reports and hold interactive dialogues with the following independent human rights experts and bodies: the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict; the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination; the International Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order; the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes; the Special Rapporteur on the human right to drinking safe drinking water and sanitation; the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence; the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery; and the Working Group on the right to development.

Also in the first week, the Council will hold a panel discussion on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed, and an annual discussion on gender integration.  General debates will be held on the Council’s agenda items on the annual report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General, and on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development. The subjects covered in these reports include, among others, the death penalty, the safety of journalists, attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism, the human rights of older persons, and the rights of indigenous peoples.  The reports also relate to technical assistance and capacity-building for Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic and Cambodia.

During the second week, the Council will hear the presentation of the latest report of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, which will include the findings of an independent inquiry into the events of Al Qusayr.  The Council will also hear a presentation by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons about the safety and basic rights of internally displaced persons in Syria (16 September). An interactive dialogue will be held with the Commission of Inquiry on the grave violations of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (16-17 September), and a half-day discussion on indigenous peoples (17 September).  General debates will be held on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention, and human rights bodies and mechanisms.

Also in the second week, the Council will hear the presentation of reports and hold interactive dialogues with the Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples, the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee.

The  Council will also approve the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Reviews of Turkmenistan, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Colombia, Uzbekistan, Tuvalu, Germany, Djibouti, Canada, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, Cameroon, and Cuba during the second week.

During the third week, the Council will hear the presentation of the report of the Secretary-General on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, followed by a general debate, and the report of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, which will be followed by an interactive dialogue.  Under technical assistance and capacity building, it will hear from the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, and the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan.  It will also hold a stand-alone, high-level interactive dialogue on Somalia.

Also during the last week, the Council will hold general debates on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories; on the follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action; on 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.

The reports that the Council will take up are available at the following link. The annotated agenda of the Council and the Programme of Work can be read here.

During this session, the Council will meet in private once under its Complaint Procedure (23 September).  On 26 and 27 September, the Council will take action on the decisions and resolutions and will also elect the members of the Advisory Committee before it closes the session.

The twenty-fourth session of the Human Rights Council will be held in Room XX of the Palais des Nations and will start at 10 a.m. on Monday, 9 September.

Composition of the Human Rights Council

The Council is made up of 47 Member States, elected by the majority of members of the General Assembly of the United Nations through direct and secret ballot. The General Assembly takes into account the candidate States’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights. Members serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms. The Council’s Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution. Seats are distributed as follows: African States: 13 seats; Asian States: 13 seats; Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats; Western European and other States: 7 seats; and Eastern European States: 6 seats.

The composition of the Council at its twenty-fourth session is as follows (the final year of term in brackets): Angola (2013), Argentina (2015), Austria (2014), Benin (2014), Botswana (2014), Brazil (2015), Burkina Faso (2014), Chile (2014), Congo (2014), Costa Rica (2014), Côte d'Ivoire (2015), Czech Republic (2014), Ecuador (2013), Estonia (2015), Ethiopia (2015), Gabon (2015), Germany (2015), Guatemala (2013), India (2014), Indonesia (2014), Ireland (2015), Italy (2014), Japan (2015), Kazakhstan (2015), Kenya (2015), Kuwait (2014), Libya* (2013 - *The rights of membership to the Human Rights Council of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya were suspended by the General Assembly on 1 March 2011 and restored on 18 November 2011), Malaysia (2013), Maldives (2013), Mauritania (2013), Montenegro (2015), Pakistan (2015), Peru (2014), Philippines (2014), Poland (2013), Qatar (2013), Republic of Korea (2015), Republic of Moldova (2013), Romania (2014), Sierra Leone (2015), Spain (2013), Switzerland (2013), Thailand (2013), Uganda (2013), United Arab Emirates (2015), United States (2015) and Venezuela (2015).

The Bureau of the Council consists of five people – one President and four Vice-Presidents – representing the five regional groups. They serve for a year, in accordance with the Council’s annual cycle. Remigiusz Achilles Henczel (Poland) is the President of the Council. Vice-Presidents are Cheikh Ahmed Ould Zahaf (Mauritania), Iruthisham Adam (Maldives), and Alexandre Fasel (Switzerland). Luis Gallegos Chiriboga (Ecuador) is a Vice-President and Rapporteur.


For use of the information media; not an official record

HRC13/094E