UN Human Rights Council Update for 17 March 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008 11:01 AM

The Human Rights Council (the Council) spent most of this morning meeting in closed session, discussing the report of the Working Group on Situations as part of the complaint procedure (under Item 5). When it finally met in public session again, the morning meeting was almost over. For that reason, comments on the report of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the prevention of genocide, Mr Francis Deng, will be made on 18 March 2008.

The afternoon meeting of the Council was dedicated to the interactive dialogue on the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, with over thirty States and ten NGOs taking the floor to address the contents of the report and to provide opinions on the efforts made, or not made, and outstanding issues of concern to the Council and the international community as a whole. Opinions varied from stating that crimes against humanity and widespread impunity continue to occur in the region, to claims that the Sudan has done everything in its power to cooperate and that positive developments have been hindered by the slowness of the international community to act.       

Following the conclusion of Item 4 on country situations, the Council moved to the review, rationalisation and improvement of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma/Myanmar. Burma/Myanmar, as a concerned State, demanded that the mandate be discontinued so as to move away from the politicised nature of the former Commission on Human Rights (the Commission). The Special Rapporteur, the European Union, as core sponsors of the resolution, and the vast majority of States that intervened favoured the continuation of the mandate as a means to detail the situation within the country, provide a voice to people in Burma/Myanmar, and a means to engage in constructive dialogue with the Government of Burma/Myanmar. 

Published in: Council Monitor, International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), 17 March 2008.