10 years after the first SOGI resolution was passed at the Council, 27 States launch the Group of Friends of the mandate of the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Tess McEvoy from ISHR and Gabriel Galil from ILGA World tell the story.
Civil society organisations welcomed significant outcomes of the Human Rights Council's 41st session, including the extension of the SOGI mandate, adopting the first resolution on the Philippines and extending its scrutiny over Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Belarus and Ukraine. This session witnessed heightened scrutiny of Council members by shedding light on the situations in Saudi Arabia and China. It missed an opportunity, however, to ensure that human rights are not sidelined in Sudan.
Targeting those who engage, or seek to engage, with the UN violates human rights, undermines its mandate, subverts its integrity, and threatens its credibility. States must step up their efforts to increase the political cost for other States committing reprisals and thus contribute to prevention of acts of intimidation and reprisals.
The Human Rights Council has elected a new President and Vice-Presidents for 2016, with ISHR delivering a civil society statement on the responsibilities that come with the Presidency and, more broadly, with Council membership.
The United Nations and its Member States have a legal obligation to strengthen civil society participation, radically overhaul the system for accreditation of NGOs, and combat reprisals against those who cooperate with the UN, according to a major new report to be considered by the General Assembly.
Democratic States that value and respect a vibrant civil society should do more to support non-governmental organisations to have their voices heard at the United Nations, the International Service for Human Rights said today.