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Mandate Of The Special Rapporteur On The Situation Of Human Rights In Iran Extended For 1 Year

Source: United Nations Human Rights Council

In a resolution (A/HRC/40/L.15) on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, adopted by a vote of 22 in favour, seven against and 18 abstentions, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran for a further period of one year, and requests the Special Rapporteur to submit a report on the implementation of the mandate to the Human Rights Council at its forty-third session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-fourth session.  The Council calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur and to permit access to visit the country and to provide all information necessary to allow the fulfilment of the mandate; and requests the Secretary-General to provide the Special Rapporteur with the resources necessary to fulfil the mandate.

The results of the vote were as follows:

In favour (22): Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

Against (7): Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Eritrea, India, Iraq and Pakistan.

Abstentions (18): Angola, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Sweden, introducing the draft resolution L.15, explained that it aimed at extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran for a further period of one year, with a view to improving the situation of human rights, in light of persisting human rights concerns.  Apart from technical updates, no other changes had been made in the text compared to the text adopted in 2018.  Sweden positively noted the improved engagement of the Government of Iran with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  It also called on the Government of Iran to facilitate the request from the Special Rapporteur to visit the country.  Cooperation with the Special Rapporteur and other mandate holders offered an opportunity for Iran to engage with the Council on the concerns that persisted about the human rights situation.

Bulgaria, in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, said the European Union was concerned about the situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The European Union welcomed the improved engagement of the Government with the Human Rights Council.  The authorities were urged to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran and facilitate a country visit.  The draft resolution was a short procedural text with the main idea of extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran for another year.

Islamic Republic of Iran, speaking as the concerned country, said the appointment of a Special Rapporteur for Iran through a country-specific resolution was a politically motivated and unjust scheme.  It was disturbing that putting States on the spot had become a course of convenience for the wholesale human rights violators, who wished to use it as a smokescreen.  Draft resolution L.5 and its mandate contributed to cliches against Iran, and it was regrettable that the Human Rights Council's time and budget had been diverted to this course.  Iran deeply regretted that Sweden and a few other countries had persisted in their unconstructive approach against Iran.  This approach lacked good faith, particularly as they remained indifferent to the atrocities conducted in the region by their allies.  Iran had vigorously engaged with the Universal Periodic Review Process since 2008, and continued to enhance its constructive interaction with the United Nations human rights mechanisms.  Iran urged Sweden to discontinue its unlawful and unconstructive pathway, and called upon the Human Rights Council Member States to vote against the draft resolution.

Pakistan, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it supported constructive engagement with United Nations and Council mechanisms but that States had the primary responsibility in guaranteeing human rights.  Since this resolution defied the principle of sovereignty and independence and did not have the support of the country concerned, Pakistan would vote against it.

Uruguay, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said it would abstain for the vote in order to be consistent with the fact that it did not support its establishment in 2011.  Special Rapporteurs played a vital role in monitoring human rights around the world but Uruguay questioned what contribution this mandate would make to protecting the human rights of the people of Iran, suggesting that other mechanisms would be more appropriate.  The priority should have been on constructive dialogue and keeping channels of communication with the country concerned open.  Uruguay remained concerned about the situation in Iran, including the execution of underage persons, and it called on Iran to align itself with recommendations and cooperate with the High Commissioner during an upcoming visit. 

Brazil, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, noted that the work of the Special Rapporteur had shed light on many troubling issues in Iran.  Brazil deeply regretted that Iran had not received the Special Rapporteur.  It noted some questions about the means of enforcement of the Charter on Citizens' Rights, and it was particularly concerned about reports of human rights violations against women, children, human rights defenders, journalists, and religious and ethnic minorities.  Brazil was further concerned about the application of capital punishment for a wide range of crimes that did not fall under the category of the most serious crimes.  Iran needed to demonstrate compliance with international human rights law, and to allow unimpeded access to the Special Rapporteur to its territory.  Brazil would abstain from voting on the draft resolution and it reiterated solidarity with the Baha'i minority in Iran.

Iraq, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, stressed the importance of dialogue and cooperation in the Human Rights Council, without ignoring the positive steps taken by some countries concerned.  Such resolutions did not contribute to dialogue and cooperation.  Instead, they turned the Council into a politicized and discriminatory forum.  Iraq called on the Council to avoid such resolutions, and for those reasons Iraq would not support the draft resolution.

Cuba, in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that resolution L.15 was a clear political act.  Country specific resolutions were defunct, and it was only through dialogue that the Conference could promote human rights.  Therefore, the Universal Periodic Review was the only way to effectively resolve human rights issues.  Unilateral coercive measures against countries of the south, as was the case in Iran, were unacceptable.  Cuba would therefore vote against the resolution.

The Council then adopted resolution L.15 by a vote of 22 in favour, seven against, and 18 abstentions.

... Payvand News - 03/25/19 ... --

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