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HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL HOLDS TWENTIETH REGULAR SESSION FROM 18 JUNE TO 6 JULY
Council to Hear Report from Commission of Inquiry on Syria and Presentations from 18 Independent Human Rights Experts
12 June 2012

The Human Rights Council will hold its twentieth regular session from 18 June to 6 July 2012 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. A highlight of the session will be a presentation from the Commission of Inquiry on Syria on 27 June which will provide an update on their activities and a report on the El Houla events as mandated at the Council’s Special Session of 1 June.

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, to be followed by a general debate on the annual report of the High Commissioner and reports of her Office and the Secretary-General.

During the first week, the Council will hold clustered interactive dialogues with the following independent human rights experts: the Special Rapporteur on the right of the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; the Special Rapporteur on the right to education; the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism; the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises; the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights; the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights; the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice; the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants; the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of the enjoyment of the cultural rights of everyone and respect for cultural diversity; and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

The Council in its second week will hold an annual day of discussion on women’s human rights; and a panel on the promotion and protection of human rights in a multicultural context, including through combating xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance. It will also hold a clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.

Under its agenda item on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention, the Council will hold an interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on the situation of human rights in Syria, and an interactive dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Belarus. A series of reports by the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General under the agenda items on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention, human rights bodies and mechanisms, and the Universal Periodic Review will be presented and general debates held on each item.
During its third week, the Council will hold interactive dialogues with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967; the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; and with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti. It will hear the presentation of a series of reports from the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General under its agenda items on the annual report of the High Commission and her Office and the Secretary-General, and on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, to be followed by a general debate on them.

General debates will also be held on the agenda items on follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance: follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. Under its agenda item on technical assistance and capacity building, the Council will hear presentations of reports from the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General, and a presentation by the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights, followed by a general debate.

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

Also during the session, the Council will meet in private twice under its Complaint Procedure. On 5 and 6 July, it will take action on the decisions and resolutions before it and will also appoint an Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to the enjoyment of a safe, clean and healthy and sustainable environment before closing the session.

The Council will be held in Room XX of the Palais des Nations. It will start at 10 a.m. on Monday, 18 June.


Composition of the Human Rights Council

The composition of the Council at its twentieth session is as follows: Angola (2013); Austria (2014); Bangladesh (2012); Belgium (2012); Benin (2014); Botswana (2014); Burkina Faso (2014); Cameroon (2012); Chile (2014); China (2012); Congo (2014); Costa Rica (2014); Cuba (2012); Czech Republic (2014); Djibouti (2012); Ecuador (2013); Guatemala (2013); Hungary (2012); India (2014); Indonesia (2014); Italy (2014); Jordan (2012); Kuwait (2014); Kyrgyzstan (2012); Libya (2013), Malaysia (2013); Maldives (2013); Mauritania (2013); Mauritius (2012); Mexico (2012); Nigeria (2012); Norway (2012); Peru (2014), Philippines (2014); Poland (2013); Qatar (2013); Republic of Moldova (2013); Romania (2014); Russian Federation (2012); Saudi Arabia (2012); Senegal (2012); Spain (2013); Switzerland (2013); Thailand (2013); Uganda (2013); United States of America (2012); Uruguay (2012).

The President of the Council is Laura Dupuy Lasserre (Uruguay); Vice-Presidents, Christian Strohal (Austria), Anatole Fabien Nkou (Cameroon), and András Dékány (Hungary); and Vice-President and Rapporteur, Gulnara Iskakova (Kyrgyzstan).


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For use of the information media; not an official record

HRC12/061E


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