Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Geneva, Switzerland

Look back at second week HRC33

Another week of intensive dialogues at the Human Right Council’s 33rd session (HRC33) has ended. The week began with a thorough interactive dialogue on the rapidly deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in Syria.

Many States addressed – among many other human rights violations - the illicit use of chemical weapons and called upon all parties to comply with the Geneva Conventions. Moreover, many member states agree that the access of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria may not be hampered and accountability for the atrocities must be sought. The Netherlands stated:

“Perpetrators within all conflict parties should be held accountable for committing crimes against humanity, war crimes, and gross violations of human rights. The culture of impunity in Syria should end.”

States continued with a General Debate in which numerous States demonstrated their concerns on the deteriorating situations in Burundi, South Sudan and Yemen. On the latter, Ambassador Van Schreven shared the Kingdom’s grave concern about the deepening crisis, and called for the establishment of an international independent investigative body as recommended by the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Other important themes were: The situation of migrants and refugees in Europe and growing xenophobia in this region, the worrying trend of increasingly restrictive environments for civil society around the world, the relevance of enhancing youth political participation and the Universal Periodic Review outcomes of countries such as Suriname, Sudan, Thailand, Greece and Hungary. These states discussed their efforts on implementing the recommendations they accepted from the previous Universal Periodic Review. 

The third - and last week - will be about decision making and last minute consultations on resolution texts. Some resolutions will be voted on, but we hope that most resolutions will be adopted by consensus.