The UN Human Right Council concludes the work of the 21st Ordinary Session

On 28th of September the Human Rights
Council concluded the 21st regular session adopting 33 resolutions
on a wide range of issues of undeniable social, judicial and political

the Agenda Item 3 (on the Promotion and
Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights, Including the Right to Development
) the Council adopted 20
Resolutions, among which the most important are on the protection of human
rights of indigenous peoples, on the fight against maternal mortality and
morbidity and human rights, on the implementation of the right to truth, on
regulation of the use of mercenaries, on the dissemination of the Guiding
Principles on transnational enterprises, on the promotion of a democratic and
equitable international order, and human rights and international solidarity. 

Moreover, the Council adopted other texts
on very significant issues such as safety of journalists, who often are victims
of serious human rights violati

ons when doing their job; the adoption of the
world program for human rights education, considered now a crucial asset to
implement and develop a society based on mutual respect; a text on human rights
and transitional justice, topic of primary importance for some countries, as
well as another equally relevant text on freedom of assembly and association.

The Council also adopted the Guiding
Principles on human rights and extreme poverty and requested the Advisory
Committee to conclude the study on traditional values and human rights, while other
resolutions focused on the right to drinking safe water and sanitation,
involuntary disappearances and human rights of older people.

In relation to Item 4 of the Agenda (Human rights situations that require the
Council’s attention
), the Member States, with 41 votes in favour and 3
against, extended the mandate of the International Commission of inquiry on
Syria, given the worsening situation of the human rights in the country.
Several delegations, including India, United States and European Union, have
called on Syrian authorities to work together with the Commission. On the
contrary, the Syrian delegation openly condemned the text of the resolution,
emphasizing the lack of objectivity and non-adherence to the reality of the
Among the issues related to Item 5 (Human rights bodies and mechanisms for the
protection of human rights
), the Council decided to establish an
intergovernmental working group to negotiate and finalize a draft of UN
Convention on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. Several
delegations took the floor and, despite the lack of unanimity, the text has
been approved by the voting procedure with 23 votes in favour, 9 against and 15
Under Agenda Item 9 (Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia
and Related Forms of Intolerance
), the Council appointed an ad hoc Committee for dealing with identification
of complementary standards to the International Convention on the Elimination
of all forms of racial discrimination and adopted a text which provides for an
appeal to all the States for concrete and effective actions against racism,
racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Finally, in relation to Agenda Item
10 (Technical assistance and capacity
), the Council renewed the mandate of the Independent Experts on
Somalia and Sudan; in particular, regarding Sudan, the Council urged the
Sudanese Government to cooperate in ensuring access to all areas of the
country, including the regions of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, which
were previously closed down to the expert investigation.
In the same context two other resolutions
have been adopted in order to provide technical assistance and capacity
building in Yemen and Southern Sudan for the promotion and development of human
rights in these countries as well as the resolution on the intensification of
technical cooperation in the field of the protection of human rights in order
to achieve the strengthening of judicial system and administration of justice
at the global level in pursuance of ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights
and the rule of law.