1 October 201614:42

Press release on the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council


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The 33rd session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva on September 13 through 30.

Over 40 resolutions and decisions were adopted as a result of three weeks of hard work. New members of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee have been elected and special rapporteurs and independent experts appointed, four thematic discussions and dialogue with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have been held, and reports by subsidiary mechanisms of the HRC and Secretariat have been heard.

The Russian delegation was very active and constructive during the session, greatly contributing to the discussion of key issues on the HRC agenda and using all the available forms of cooperation and dialogue to the utmost in the interests of strengthening respect for human rights and basic freedoms.

The Russian delegation’s priorities at the session were to promote the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of states, including under the pretext of human rights protection; the unacceptability of unilateral enforcement measures; the importance of fighting racism, aggressive nationalism, neo-Nazism and religious intolerance; the protection of ethnic minorities; the strengthening of dialogue and confidence within the HRC; and the search for mutually acceptable solutions and compromises.

Russian representatives focused on the unacceptability of double standards in the discussion of human rights in Ukraine, stressed the need for carefully investigating serious violations of human rights and crimes committed by Ukrainian security authorities, and condemned Kiev’s inertia in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

Following the unsubstantiated decision of the International Paralympic Committee to ban the Russian Paralympic team from the Rio 2016 and Pyeongchang 2018 games, a group of states adopted a joint statement, at Russia’s initiative, on the unacceptability of discrimination against athletes with disabilities.

Russian representatives praised the positive results in HRC efforts on individual thematic issues. A major impetus has been given to the effort to codify the right to development, and the renewal of the mandate of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has been coordinated in a constructive manner.

At the same time, the Russian delegation pointed to negative tendencies in the HRC’s work, such as politicisation and confrontation and increased attempts to apply double standards and to demonise states under the pretext of human rights violations. The HRC has been used increasingly to promote disputable and confusing concepts and to discuss issues that have little connection to human rights, such as the legal status of territories. The discussion of the Syrian issue was far removed from reality and the adoption of yet another harmful resolution on Syria could hinder the attainment of a peaceful settlement there.

An alternative to these tendencies is a policy of equal, respectful and depoliticised cooperation to uphold and protect human rights around the world. The Russian delegation continued its efforts to formalise this principle as the cornerstone of UN human rights activities, strengthening its constructive cooperation with all groups of states, expert mechanisms and civil society representatives. A positive example of such cooperation is the invitation to visit Russia, which was extended to Mr Idriss Jazairy, Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, during the session.

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