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NEWS

Slovenian activities at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council

Geneva, 9 March 2018 – The 37th regular session of the Human Rights Council is taking place in Geneva. As a Council member, Slovenia is actively engaged in discussions and talks on resolutions.

In addition to the address by Minister Erjavec during the introductory part of the session, Slovenia actively participated in interactive debates with the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, the special representatives of the Secretary-General on violence against children and for children in armed conflict, respectively, and with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights during the first two weeks of the session. Slovenia also took part in the meeting on the rights of the child, which focused on the issue of children in humanitarian situations. As part of the panel discussion on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Slovenia expressed its full commitment to, and support for, this milestone document of international human rights law. 

 

Slovenia also took part in the interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities. A statement was read by the Director-General for Multilateral Affairs, Development Cooperation and International Law, Sabina Stadler Repnik, who also met the responsible officials at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, ambassadors of the EU delegation in Geneva and US Ambassador responsible for ECOSOC.

 

Slovenia joined the national statements and also some group statements issued by several countries, cautioning about the persisting inequality of women, including special challenges facing women and girls with disabilities, and about the need to guarantee sexual and reproductive health and rights in humanitarian situations. In addition, together with Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland (Quadrilateral statement), Slovenia participated in an interactive debate with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

 

During the Council session, an urgent debate on Eastern Ghouta (Syrian Arab Republic) was held on the initiative of the UK on Friday, 2 March 2018. At the end of February, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution for an immediate cease-fire and a humanitarian corridor. Despite unanimous support, air strikes and bombardment in Eastern Ghouta continue. The population has seen all possible forms of atrocities and hardship and is struggling to survive without any external assistance. The urgent debate on the situation in Eastern Ghouta concluded with the adoption of a resolution. Slovenia voted in favour of the resolution and also co-sponsored it.

 

Negotiations on numerous resolutions to be adopted by the Council at the end of the session are ongoing. Slovenia and the core group for human rights and the environment (Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland) is heading negotiations on the resolution focused on extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, who will study the human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. In co-operation with Austria, Mexico and Senegal, Slovenia also coordinates negotiations on the rights of members of national, religious and linguistic minorities.

 

This Council session will conclude on 23 March 2018. It is presided over by the Slovenian Permanent Representative, Ambassador Vojislav Šuc.