Human Rights Council: delayed start after diplomatic row
Monday, 14 September 2009 10:14


IMG_0237.JPGThe Human Rights Council (the Council) opened its 12th session with an unprecedented delay of almost six hours. Scheduled to begin its session with hearing an update from  the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem Pillay, the Council instead heard statements from high-level dignitaries, including the Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights of Sri Lanka, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs of the United States and Princess Bajrakitiyabha of Thailand. In particular the US statement was notable, as it reaffirmed the country's strong wish to see the Council fulfilling its mandate to address violations of human rights. 

The afternoon segment, although scheduled for 3 p.m., only started around 5 p.m. It transpired that the delay was related to a dispute over the delegation of Honduras attending the Council. A series of points of order were raised by Brazil, Argentina, Mexico (on behalf of GRULAC) and Cuba. They all refused to recognise the delegation of Honduras present in the room, claiming that the Ambassador had been dismissed by the Foreign Minister of the ‘legitimately elected Government of Honduras'. It seems that following the coup d'etat in Honduras, the Ambassador to the UN in Geneva was recalled. The President of the Council, Alex Van Meeuwen of Belgium, ruled to suspend discussion of this matter, announcing that further discussions would take place within the Council Bureau. He dismissed a point of order by the Ambassador of Honduras, saying that a non-member State of the Council could not raise a point of order at that time. Obviously furious, and shouting  ‘I will be back', the Ambassador left the room escorted by Security guards.  

The Council then proceeded to determine the order of countries to be reviewed at the 7th, 8th and 9th session and selection of troikas for the 7th, 8th and 9th session of the UPR Working Group. A complete list of the combinations drawn by lot will be available here shortly. Keep up-to-date with developments at the Council:



Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 04:27
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