Press release on the 35th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Friday, 30 June 2017 11:37

The 35th Session of the UN Human Rights Council ended in Geneva on June 23.

The participating delegations exchanged opinions on a wide range of international human rights issues, highlighting the rights of women, internally displaced persons and migrants, transnational corporations and human rights, peaceful assembly and association, independence of judges and lawyers, the right to health and education, human trafficking and several other issues.

The Russian delegation at the session focused on preventing the politicisation of human rights activities or their use for interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states and on the importance of the principle of equal and mutually respectful cooperation in the area of human rights. The Russian delegates pointed out that the adoption of politically motivated country specific resolutions and destructive criticism of states cannot improve the human rights situation in these countries or promote their dialogue with international organisations.

During discussions of the human rights situation in Ukraine, the Russian delegation expressed serious concern over the dramatic growth of tensions in Donbass and the data provided by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine about recent cases of unlawful and arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, and systematic use of torture by Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) personnel to extract confessions from those who were detained on suspicion of involvement in the Donbass conflict. The Russian delegates also pointed to Kiev’s discriminatory activities such as the socioeconomic blockade of southeastern Ukraine. In this context, they urged the UN and the human rights community to continue to encourage the Ukrainian authorities to strictly comply with their international human rights obligations and international humanitarian law, as well as to implement the Minsk Agreements in order to achieve a lasting peace in the country.

The participants of the 35th session of the UN Human Rights Council adopted without a vote a Russia-sponsored resolution on the Seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action in 2018. The document was co-sponsored by over 120 member states and observers.

Another important achievement was the adoption of yet another HRC resolution on the protection of the family, which was sponsored by a group of states, including Russia. The resolution reaffirmed the inseverable connection between human rights and traditional humanitarian values.

At the same time, the session revealed old problems in the HRC’s work, primarily those that are connected to growing confrontation between states, double standards and attempts to use human rights allegations to demean some countries. In this context, the discussion of Syria and Belarus and the adoption of politically motivated resolutions on them were completely detached from reality.

The 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council will be held between September 11 and 29, 2017.

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