HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL HOLDS ITS TWENTY-FIFTH REGULAR SESSION FROM 3 to 28 MARCH 2014
Secretary-General to Open Session; High-level Segment to Feature some 100 Dignitaries; Presentations by Commissions of Inquiry on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Syria; Over 100 Reports to be Presented Covering Wide Range of Human Rights Themes and Countries
27 February 2014
The Human Rights Council will hold its twenty-fifth regular session from 3 to 28 March 2014 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. A highlight of the session will be the opening four-day High-level Segment during which some 100 ministers and other senior dignitaries will address the 47-member Council on human rights matters of national interest and concern.
Prior to the convening of the High-level Segment, the Council will hear opening remarks from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and Human Rights Council President Baudelaire Ndong Ella of Gabon.
Highlights of the four-week session include presentations by the independent commissions of inquiry on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and on Syria, as well as interactive panel discussions on human rights mainstreaming, the death penalty, genocide, and the promotion and protection of civil society space. Other notable meetings are high-level dialogues on preventative approaches within the United Nations system, and on combatting sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child; and the annual debate on the rights of persons with disabilities.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will open the twenty-fifth regular session at 9 a.m. on Monday, 3 March, commencing the four-day High-Level Segment. Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, will present her annual report on activities undertaken by her Office in 2013 at 3 p.m. on Thursday, 6 March. The panel discussion on human rights mainstreaming will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, 4 March, and at 3 p.m. that day the high-level dialogue on the promotion of preventative approaches within the United Nations system will take place. The panel discussion on the question of the death penalty is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 5 March, and the high-level panel on the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide will be held at midday on Friday, 7 March. The first week of the session will conclude with an interactive dialogue with the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, in the afternoon.
The second week of the session will open on Monday, 10 March with joint interactive dialogues with the Special Rapporteur on torture and the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, followed by another joint dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to food and the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing. In the afternoon the Council will hear from the Independent Experts on human rights and the environment, and on foreign debt. On Tuesday, 11 March the Council will hold a dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, and the Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism. At 3 p.m. that afternoon the panel discussion on the promotion and protection of civil society space will take place. On Wednesday, 12 March, the Special Rapporteur on cultural rights and the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children will present their reports, followed by a joint dialogue with participants. On the same day, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children in armed conflict will hold interactive dialogues. On Thursday, 13 March, the Council will hold its annual full-day meeting on the rights of the child dedicated to the theme of access to justice for children and empowering children to claim their rights.
The Commission of Inquiry on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will present its new report to the Council at the start of the third week of the session, at 9 a.m. on Monday, 17 March. That afternoon the Council will hear from the Special Rapporteurs on Iran and Myanmar. On Tuesday, 18 March the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic will hold an interactive dialogue with the Council, starting at 9 a.m. That week the Council will also hear from the Independent Expert on minority issues, and discuss the report of the Forum on Minority Issues. The annual discussion on the human rights of persons with disabilities will take place at midday on Wednesday, 19 March. The remainder of the week will be taken up with consideration of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) outcomes for the following States reviewed at the UPR Working Group’s session in October and November last year (in order of review): Saudi Arabia, Senegal, China, Nigeria, Mexico, Mauritius, Jordan, Malaysia, Central African Republic, Israel, Belize, Chad, Monaco, Congo and Malta, and with general debate.
The Council will open its fourth and final week by taking up the reports of the High Commissioner, the Secretary-General and the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, followed by a general debate. The panel discussion on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will take place at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, 25 March, after which the Council will consider various reports, and hear from the Independent Experts on Cote d’Ivoire and Haiti. The Independent Experts on Mali and Central African Republic will update the Council on Wednesday, 26 March, followed by presentation of a report on Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights. For the remainder of the day the Council will consider other country reports of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General, and engage in general debate.
The Council will hold closed meetings on its Complaint Procedure on Friday, 14 March, and Monday, 24 March, at 5 p.m. on each day. On Thursday and Friday, 27 and 28 March, the Council will take action on the draft resolutions and decisions tabled during the session. On Friday, 28 March, the President of the Council will appoint expert mandate holders under special procedures to fill 19 vacancies before concluding its session.
Click here for the detailed agenda. Reports for the twenty-fifth session can be found here, and for any other information or documentation, please refer to the homepage of the Human Rights Council website.
The Human Rights Council
The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States which are responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. The Council was created by the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 with the main purpose of addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them.
The composition of the Council at its twenty-fifth session is of the following 47 countries: South Africa, Algeria, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Austria, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, United Arab Emirates, Estonia, United States of America , Ethiopia , the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia , Russian Federation, France, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Mexico, Montenegro, Namibia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Czech Republic, Romania, United Kingdom, Sierra Leone, Venezuela and Vietnam.
As of 1 January 2014, the President of the Council has been the Ambassador of Gabon, Mr. Baudelaire Ndong Ella. Serving as the Council’s four Vice Presidents are Ms Kateřina Sequensová of the Czech Republic, Mr. Alberto D'Alotto from Argentina, Maurizio Enrico Serra of Italy, and Mr. Dilip Sinha from India as Vice-Presidents. Ms. Sequensová is also the Rapporteur of the Council.
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