HRC42 Joint End of Session Statement

The Council reaffirmed that reprisals can never be justified. Council members rejected attempts to weaken the text including deleting the references to the roles of the Assistant Secretary-General and the Human Rights Council Presidents. The resolution listed key trends such as the patterns of reprisals, increasing self-censorship, the use of national security arguments and counter-terrorism strategies by States as justification for blocking access to the UN, acknowledged the specific risks to individuals in vulnerable situations or belonging to marginalized groups, and called on the UN to implement gender-responsive policies to end reprisals. The Council called on States to combat impunity and to report back to it on how they are preventing reprisals, both online and offline. The Bahamas and the Maldives responded to this call during the interactive dialogue and we encourage more States to follow their good practice. We also encourage States to follow the good practice of Germany and Costa Rica in raising specific cases of reprisals. The Council also welcomed the role of the Assistant Secretary-General and invited the General Assembly to step up its efforts to address reprisals and ensure a coherent system-wide response.

We welcome that the EU and OIC have jointly presented a resolution on Myanmar requesting the High Commissioner to report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Fact-Finding Mission at HRC 45. However, the international community needs to take stronger action to ensure accountability for and cessation of grave international crimes, in particular by referring Myanmar to the ICC and imposing a global arms embargo – and by acting on the FFM’s reports, including those on economic interests of the military and on sexual and gender-based violence in Myanmar and the gendered impact of its ethnic conflicts.

The joint EU/OIC resolution on Myanmar welcomes the FFM report on the military’s economic interests, which identifies companies contributing to abuses. The High Commissioner, however, has still not transmitted the database of companies facilitating Israel’s illegal settlements more than 2 and a half years after its mandated release. The High Commissioner pledged in March to fulfil the mandate “within the coming months”. The ongoing unexplained and unprecedented delays have become a matter of credibility, for both the High Commissioner and the HRC. Mr. President, we request that you confer with the High Commissioner and advise as soon as possible when this important Council mandate will be fulfilled.

Signatories:

  1. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  2. DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
  3. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)
  4. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
  5. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
  6. Asian Legal Resource Centre
  7. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  8. International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
  9. Amnesty International
  10. Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
  11. Human Rights Watch
  12. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

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