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Highlighting Palestine and Yemen: Euro-Med takes part

Geneva – The United Nations Human Rights Council opened on Monday, 9 September 2019 its 42nd regular session, which will end on 27 September, 2019 in Geneva.

The session was opened by the President of the UNHRC, Coly SECK, the Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations, with the presence of Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Chairman of Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, Ramy Abdu, said that the current session will discuss prominent issues regarding the Middle East, including Palestine, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya.

"The council's three-week-session will review around 90 reports presented by 25 experts and a group of commissions of inquiry and other mechanisms of human rights, in addition to the Office of the Secretary General of the UN and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights," Abdu said.

Abdu added that the Euro-Med will contribute a number of written and spoken statements on Yemen, Jerusalem and forcible disappearance. The organization will organize a number of size-events on the sidelines of the session.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights will present and speak about a report on the activities of the High Commission since the end of the latest session, which will include the developments of the human rights situation all over the world. At the same time, the Council will hold an interactive dialogue session on the High Commissioner's report on the following day in the afternoon.

It is planned that the Council will discuss the permanent mechanism to gather evidence of the most dangerous international crimes and violations of the humanitarian law in Myanmar since 2011.

The Council will discuss the first report of Myanmar's independent inquiry mechanism, established by the Council in March 2018, by its chairman, Nicholas Kumjian. In addition, the Council will look into the Special Rapporteur's report on the human rights situation in Myanmar and the final report of the fact-finding mission on 16th and 17th of September.

The Council will look into reprisals against UN international employees or contractors in conflict zones.

Additionally, the High Commissioner will present updates regarding the situation of human rights in countries listed on the current session’s agenda. Most importantly, the Council will present the findings of the international independent inquiry on the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip, and the human rights situation in Venezuela.

On 10 September, the Council will hold a dialogue on Nicaragua, including the report of the team of international and regional human rights experts.

The Council will also examine the High Commissioner's report on implementing technical assistance to Yemen as well as discussing the international panel report on Yemen including analyzing the reports of commissions assigned to South Sudan, Syria and Burundi.

The human rights situation in Ukraine, Libya, Cambodia, Somalia, Sudan, the Central African Republic and Georgia will also be on the agenda of this session.

The High Commissioner will submit her comprehensive report on the human rights situation in Congo during a dialogue on 24 September.

As for thematic issues, the Human Rights Council will hold an interactive dialogue during the first week of the session with experts (special Rapporteurs, independent experts or working groups) to address a number of matters, including slavery, water and sanitation, enforced disappearances, unilateral coercive measures or arbitrary detention.

The Right to Development will be featured prominently in the session's discussions and the Council will consider the report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the High Commissioner on the realization of this right. The Rapporteur of the Working Group on the Right to Development will submit a report about the 20th session of the Working Group which took place in Geneva last spring, whose members continue to discuss a legally binding draft in this regard.

Finally, the Special Rapporteur on the right to development will present his guidelines and recommendations on the practical implementation of the right to development. During the session, the Council will also focus on the rights of indigenous peoples.

On Wednesday, 18 September, an Annual Round Table will focus on the right of the indigenous peoples to preserve their languages. The Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples will review his report which will be followed by an interactive dialogue about the same issue.

On the other hand, the Human Rights Council will hold a discussion panel on unilateral coercive measures on 12 and 23 of September, which will highlight gender mainstreaming.

The Council will also hear a presentation by the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Friday, 13 September. On Wednesday, 18 September, the Council will hold a dialogue with its Advisory Committee.

In addition, on 19 and 20 of September, three meetings will be devoted to the Universal Periodic Review Working Group's reports on fourteen countries: Norway, Albania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Portugal, Bhutan, Dominica, DPRK Popular, Brunei Darussalam, Costa Rica, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Qatar and Nicaragua. The Council will adopt the final documents which contain recommendations for the practical improvement of the human rights situation in each of these countries.

Finally, on 26 and 27 September, the council will look into the submitted draft resolutions on matters discussed during the session. At the end of the session, the Council will elect seven new members of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

The Human Rights Council is the key intergovernmental body of the United Nations established on 15, March 2006 to promote human rights around the world. It is Composed of 47 Member States that succeeded the Commission on Human Rights established in 1946 and was charged with drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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