THIRD COMMITTEE DRAFT RESOLUTIONS ADDRESS HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATIONS IN MYANMAR, DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA, IRAN

21 November 2008
GA/SHC/3940

THIRD COMMITTEE DRAFT RESOLUTIONS ADDRESS HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATIONS IN MYANMAR, DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA, IRAN

21 November 2008
General Assembly
GA/SHC/3940
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-third General Assembly

Third Committee

44th & 45th Meetings (AM & PM)


THIRD COMMITTEE DRAFT RESOLUTIONS ADDRESS HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATIONS


IN MYANMAR, DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA, IRAN


10 Texts Approved; Migrants, Unilateral Coercive Measures,

Trafficking in Women, Anti-Racism Convention, Enforced Disappearances among Issues


By the terms of three draft resolutions approved today in the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), the General Assembly would address the human rights situations in three Member States -- Myanmar, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and Iran -- despite strong objections by numerous delegations over the ongoing tabling of country-specific resolutions.


The three texts, approved by recorded votes, were among the most divisive of the 10 drafts approved today, as delegates argued that such texts ignored progress made by a country and compromised the role of the Human Rights Council and its newly operational Universal Periodic Review.


The representative of Myanmar, speaking prior to the vote on the draft on his country, called the resolution a “yearly ritual” meant to ratchet up political pressure under the pretext of promoting and protecting human rights.  “If left unchallenged, [it] will set a dangerous precedent for all developing countries”, he said.  Not only did it contain elements that infringed on his country’s sovereignty, it was also clearly aimed at derailing the Government’s road map to democracy, by using the bloc voting power of the European Union.


At the same time, he said it ignored significant progress that had been made in political and humanitarian arenas, including the Government’s cooperation with the United Nations to coordinate a humanitarian response in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, with the help of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and others.  Moreover, despite that progress, the current text of the draft was even more harshly written than it had been in the past.


The draft, tabled by France, was approved by a recorded vote of 89 in favour to 29 against, with 63 abstentions (Annex V).


France’s delegate, who had also tabled the draft resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said both texts were aimed at drawing the attention of the international community to worrying human rights situations, in an effort to mobilize action on all sides.  Speaking on behalf of the European Union, he said there had been few positive developments in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and ongoing violations of human rights -- including, among others, torture, inhumane conditions of detention, and a failure to respect the freedom of expression -- reflected a lack of will by the Government to protect its citizens.  “The General Assembly should not remain silent”, he said, in the face of such acts.


The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea drew attention to the hypocrisy and double standards in the draft on his country, which had been co-sponsored by Japan, which he considered as a top human rights abuser in its own right.  The resolution -- which was approved by a vote of 95 in favour to 24 against, with 62 abstentions (Annex III) -- was based on the political interests of some countries in changing the power structure within his country, and had little to do with the promotion and protection of human rights.


However, Canada’s delegate -- whose country was the main sponsor of the draft on Iran -- said that co-sponsors of country-specific resolutions did not take their task lightly and looked forward to a time when such resolutions would no longer be necessary.  That said, the Third Committee had a right and responsibility to address human rights situations of concern, such as the situation in Iran.  Not doing so would undermine the Committee’s credibility and, by extension, the credibility of the General Assembly at large.  The draft on Iran was approved by a vote of 70 in favour to 51 against, with 60 abstentions (Annex VII).


Iran’s delegate pointed out that the pattern of voting, over recent years, had shown that the majority of delegates rejected such resolutions, either by voting against them or by abstaining.  The draft on Iran was an example of selectivity and double standards, containing “falsified and unsubstantiated elements”, while ignoring the steady trend of improvements in the country.  The international community should pay attention to human rights situation in all corners of the world, without exception, and end politicization and the manipulation of the human rights machinery by a few Member States.


The Human Rights Council, and its Universal Periodic Review mechanism, was now the most appropriate mechanism to deal with such issues, he said, echoing a view expressed by numerous other delegates.  Speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, the representative of Cuba referred to the statement made by Heads of State and Government at the Movement’s fourteenth conference in September 2006, rejecting and condemning the practice of selectivity and double standards in protecting human rights and exploiting those rights as a pretext for attaining political ends.  Speaking in his national capacity, he called for such resolutions to be dealt with solely within the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which had been created specifically to deal with such situations.


Among the other drafts approved today by recorded vote was a resolution on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, which was aimed at affirming the need for a set of guiding principles for a democratic and equitable international order.  On that draft, too, concerns were raised -- this time by France’s delegate on behalf of the European Union -- that some elements of the text might fall outside the purview of the Third Committee and that the Third Committee was not the appropriate forum in which to deal with such issues.  The draft was approved by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 52 against, with 7 abstentions ( Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu) (Annex II).


The Committee also approved the draft resolution on human rights and unilateral coercive measures by a recorded vote of 124 in favour to 52 against, with no abstentions (Annex I).


In addition, after a lengthy procedural debate, the Committee approved the draft resolution on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination -- usually adopted by consensus -- by a recorded vote of 178 in favour to none against, with no abstentions (Annex IX).


Among the texts approved by consensus today were draft resolutions on:  the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights; the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; the protection of migrants; and trafficking in women and girls.


Due to ongoing consultations, the Committee postponed consideration on the draft text on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions until Monday, 24 November.


Also speaking in connection to the various draft resolutions and/or no-motion actions were the representatives of Sweden, Argentina, United States, Mexico, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Uzbekistan, Cape Verde, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Algeria, Japan, and Singapore.


The representatives of Nepal, Malaysia, Panama, Ecuador, Egypt, Antigua and Barbuda, Colombia, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, China, Russian Federation, Norway, New Zealand, Guinea-Bissau, Barbados, Thailand, Belarus, Brazil, Niger, India, Costa Rica, Pakistan, Australia, Uganda, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Ireland, Namibia, Philippines, Peru, Slovenia and Belgium also made statements on the text.


The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 24 November, to take up outstanding draft resolutions.


Background


The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to take action on several outstanding draft resolutions, including drafts on:  human rights and unilateral coercive measures (document A/C.3/63/L.31); the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights (document A/C.3/63/L.32); extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (document A/C.3/63/L.35/Rev.1) and its amendments, contained in documents A/C.3/63/L.74 and L.75; the protection of migrants (document A/C.3/63/L.38/Rev.1); the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (document A/C.3/63/L.41); the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order (document A/C.3/63/L.44); the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (document A/C.3/63/L.26); the situation of human rights in Myanmar (document A/C.3/63/L.33), including its programme budget implications (document A/C.3/63/L.71); and on the situation of human rights in Iran (document A/C.3/63/L.40).  (For background please see Press Release GA/SHC/3939 from 20 November 2008.)


The Committee was also expected to consider a draft resolution on trafficking in women and girls (A/C.3/63/L.13/Rev.1), which would have the General Assembly call upon Governments to discourage, with a view to eliminating, the demand that fosters trafficking for all forms of exploitation and to criminalize all forms of trafficking in persons, while ensuring that victims were not penalized for having been trafficked.  Recognizing the challenges to combating trafficking in women and girls, owing to the lack of adequate legislation and implementation of existing legislation, the lack of availability of reliable sex-disaggregated data and statistics, and the lack of resources, the draft resolution would have the General Assembly urge Governments to devise, enforce, and strengthen effective gender- and age-sensitive measures to combat and eliminate all forms of trafficking in women and girls.  The draft text also expresses serious concern that an increasing number of women and girls from some developing countries and from countries with economies in transition are being trafficked to developed countries, as well as within and between regions and States, and that men and boys are also victims of trafficking, including for sexual exploitation.


A three-part draft resolution on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (document A/C.3/63/L.53/Rev.1) would have the Assembly call on States to fulfil their obligation, under the Convention, to submit their periodic reports in due time.  It would have the Assembly express its profound concern that a number of States parties had not fulfilled their financial obligations, and would have it appeal strongly to States parties in arrears to fulfil those obligations.  The Assembly would strongly urge States parties to accelerate their domestic ratification procedures with regard to the amendment to the Convention concerning the financing of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  It would note the Committee’s request that the Assembly authorize an extension of its meeting time, which was currently only six weeks per year, and decide to authorize the Committee to meet for an additional week per session as of 2010, as a temporary measure.  The document containing the draft’s programme budget implications (document A/C.3/63/72) was also before the Committee for consideration.


By the draft resolution on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/63/L.50/Rev.1), the Assembly would urge all States to take legislative measures to ensure that their territories and nationals were not used for the recruitment, assembly, financing, training and transit of mercenaries whose use could impede the right of people to self-determination, destabilize Governments, or dismember or impair the territorial integrity or political unity of States.  It would request States to impose a ban on interventions by companies in armed conflicts or actions to destabilize constitutional regimes, and would call on States that had not done so to consider acceding to, or ratifying, the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries.  By further terms of the text, the Assembly would call on States to investigate the possibility of mercenary involvement if terrorist criminal acts were to occur, and to bring to trial or consider the extradition of those found responsible.  It would also request the Working Group to continue the work that had been done by Special Rapporteurs to strengthen the international legal framework against the use of mercenaries, and to take account of the proposed legal definition of a mercenary in the Rapporteur’s report to the Commission on Human Rights at its sixtieth session.


The Committee was also expected to take action on a draft resolution on combating defamation of religions (document A/C.3/63/L.22/Rev.1), which would have the General Assembly recognize that, in the context of the fight against terrorism, defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred had become aggravating factors that contribute to the denial of fundamental rights and freedoms of members of target groups, as well as their economic and social exclusion.  In that respect, the Assembly would also express a deep concern that Islam was frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism, and would reiterate the commitment of all States to the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  The text would have the Assembly note, with deep concern, the intensification of the overall campaign of defamation of religions, and deplore the use of print, audio-visual and electronic media to incite acts of violence, as well as targeting of religious symbols.


By the terms of the draft, the Assembly would emphasize that everyone had the right to hold opinions, without interference, and the right to freedom of expression.  It would also emphasize that the exercise of those rights carried with it special duties and responsibilities and might, therefore, be subject to limitations as provided for by law and necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others, protection of national security, or of public order, public health or morals.  It would reaffirm that general recommendation XV (42) of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination -- which stipulated that the prohibition of the dissemination of all ideas based upon racial superiority or hatred was compatible with freedom of opinion and expression -- was equally applicable to the question of incitement to religious hatred.


By a draft resolution on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief (document A/C.3/63/L.34), the Assembly would urge States to step up efforts to eliminate discrimination based on religion or belief.  To that end, the Assembly would have States ensure that their constitutional and legislative systems provided adequate and effective guarantees of freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief without distinction, by providing effective remedies in cases of violation of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, or the right to practise one’s religion freely, including the right to change one’s religion of belief.  Among other things, the resolution would have States ensure that no official documents were withheld for reasons grounded in a person’s religion or belief, and that if religious affiliation was mentioned in such documents, the individual had the right to refrain from disclosing that type of information, or to indicate “other religion” or “no religion”. 


Recognizing the complex character of the worsening of the current global food crisis, which would threaten to violate the right to adequate food on a massive scale, the Assembly would -- by the resolution on the right to food (document A/C.3/63/L.42) -- reaffirm that hunger constituted an outrage and a violation of human dignity, requiring the adoption of urgent measures at the national, regional and international level, for its elimination.  The text would have the Assembly consider it intolerable that more than 6 million children still died every year from hunger-related illness before their fifth birthday, and that the number of undernourished people had grown to about 923 million worldwide, at the same time that the planet could produce enough food to feed 12 billion people, or twice the world’s present population.


The text would have the Assembly express concern that, in many countries, girls were twice as likely as boys to die from malnutrition and preventable childhood diseases, and that twice as many women as men were estimated to suffer from malnutrition.  Accordingly, it would have the Assembly encourage all States to take action to address gender inequality and discrimination against women, including through measures to ensure the full and equal realization of the right to food, and to ensure that women had equal access to resources, including income, land and water so as to enable them to feed themselves and their families.


By further terms of the text, the Assembly would call for a successful, development-oriented outcome of the Doha Development Round negotiations of the World Trade Organization, as a contribution to creating international conditions that permit the full realization of the right to food.  It would call on Member States, the United Nations system and other relevant stakeholders to support national efforts aimed at responding rapidly to the food crises occurring in Africa, and to express deep concern that funding shortfalls were forcing the World Food Programme (WFP) to cut operations across different regions, including southern Africa.  The draft would also have the Assembly request the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide the necessary human and financial resources for the effective fulfilment of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur.


Action on Draft Resolutions


The Committee was to have begun its meeting by addressing the draft resolution on human rights and unilateral coercive measures (document A/C.3/63/L.31), but at the request of the representative of Cuba, turned instead to the draft on the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights (document A/C.3/63/L.32).  Its main sponsor, Cuba, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, made corrections to preambular paragraph 2, removing the word “all” in the third line, and to operative paragraph 7 of the text, removing the phrase “as well as by the elimination of double standards and politicization”.  The proposed draft would have States reaffirm their commitment to promotion of international cooperation, and set guidelines on the promotion and protection of human rights.  He commended the text for adoption by consensus.


The Committee then approved the draft as orally revised and without a vote.


Returning to the draft resolution on human rights and unilateral coercive measures (document A/C.3/63/L.31), its main sponsor, the representative of Cuba, speaking again on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, reiterated the concern that such measures continued to be implemented in contravention of international law and the United Nations Charter, and with negative consequences to economic development.  They affected populations, such as women and children, undermining their well-being and their ability to enjoy the right to food, medical care –- including access to medication -- and social services.  He urged delegations to lend support to the draft.


The CHAIR announced that a vote had been requested, and in response to the representative of Cuba, said that it had been requested by the United States.


The draft was then approved by a recorded vote of 124 in favour to 52 against, with no abstentions.  (See Annex I for voting details.)


The Committee next turned to the draft on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (document A/C.3/63/L.35/Rev.1).  The representative of Sweden said negotiations on the text were still ongoing and asked that action be deferred to Monday, which the Chair agreed to.


It then took up the draft on the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (document A/C.3/63/L.41), hearing a statement by its main sponsor, the representative of Argentina.  She said her country was convinced that the Convention was an important contribution to the fight against impunity, and was grateful for the cooperation shown by Member States during negotiations on the text, which was then approved without a vote.


The representative of the United States said he had been pleased to join the consensus, because his Government shared the concern of others on the need to respond decisively on that issue.  However, the United States had not signed or ratified the Convention because of problems with the Convention that his Government had verbalized on previous occasions, including in his country’s 2006 submission to the Human Rights Council.


Turning next to the draft on the protection of migrants (document A/C.3/63/L.38/Rev.1), the Committee heard a statement by the main sponsor, the representative of Mexico, who made oral amendments to paragraphs 8 and 11of the text.  He said the draft had been the subject of intense negotiations and that several new provisions had been included in this year’s draft relating to illegal migrants.  The draft also took note of alternative measures used in place of detention, which were worthy of consideration by all States, as well as attempts to review and modify the length of detention of migrants, to prevent their detention for excessively long periods.  He voiced hoped that the draft would send a strong message to the international community on the importance of upholding the rights of migrants regardless of their migrant status.


The Committee approved the resolution, as orally revised, without a vote.


Speaking after action, the representative of Venezuela said that a fruitful discussion and exchange of ideas had led to a compromise agreement on the text, which had allowed it to be adopted by consensus.  The direct and indirect social implications of international migration required a comprehensive approach.  Venezuela viewed the issue of the criminalization of irregular migration as one of the most important issues on the subject.  Xenophobia and discrimination had often been seen in the approaches taken to such migration, which was not constructive in the least.  In dealing with irregular migration, it would be necessary to show a deep respect for all human and fundamental freedoms.  More specifically, on operative paragraph 12, he said that, while there was a personal right in regard to returning to the country of origin, the right to return referred to individuals only.  For that reason, countries that wished to invoke that right could not do so.  In closing, he expressed pride over the fact that many countries, including Venezuela, had received European migrants and migrants from all over the world, in the case of famine, war or otherwise.


Speaking on behalf of the European Union, the representative of France said his delegation had joined the consensus, despite certain reservations regarding the draft.  The European Union welcomed the inclusion, in the draft, of a clear reference to the obligation of States to ensure that citizens returning home were welcomed in the appropriate manner.  However, it did not reflect the need to regulate migration, in a balanced manner, and to protect and promote human rights and the obligations of States in that regard.  The migratory policy in the European Union was balanced, globally comprehensive and had a rule of law approach.  That balanced approach should have been more carefully borne in mind in the resolution under consideration.  Regarding operative paragraph 9, he underscored that any detention must be conducted in step with international human rights obligations and any conclusions regarding excessive detention should be considered in light of specific cases.  The Forum on Migration and Development was an important global forum that allowed for greater dialogue and would contribute to the drafting of a global approach on the issue.  There would be added value if the Forum was voluntary, informal, non-binding, and led by States and interested parties.  He hoped that, in the future, subsequent resolutions would take a more global and balanced approach.


The representative of the United States said, after the substantial negotiations, his delegation had joined consensus on the draft.  He pointed out that the “well-settled principle” under international law was that all States had the sovereign right to regulate the admission or expulsion of foreign migrants, into or out of their territory.  The United States provided substantial protections to aliens living within the country, regardless of their migrant status.  He expressed strong support regarding the responsibility of States to protect migrants within their territories, while calling attention to the need to ensure the expeditious return of migrants to their countries of origin, if appropriate. 


Regarding the detention of migrants, something that international law did not prohibit, he expressed the United States’ shared concern that enforcing such laws should always be done in line with the established principles of international law.  The resolution addressed the topic of migrants on a global scale, and it should, therefore, not be sidelined by bilateral matters, such as the bilateral legal matter referred to in preambular paragraph 8.  The United States was both a nation of immigrants and a nation with more than 1 million citizens living outside its borders, and as such, he reaffirmed support for the efforts towards the protection of migrants.


The Committee then moved to take action on the draft resolution on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order (document A/C.3/63/L.44), which contained no programme budget implications.

On points of order, the representatives of Zimbabwe and Ghana said their delegations were not present in the room during the vote, earlier in the day, on human rights and unilateral coercive measures.  Both requested that their votes, in favour, be recorded in the notes.  The Chair took note of their requests.


The representative of Cuba, the main sponsor of the draft, said the draft was aimed at affirming that a democratic and equitable international order required a group of guiding principles, such as the right to self-determination, sovereignty over personal resources, international solidarity, and cooperation, among many others.  He distributed a document containing a number of corrections to the text, including the insertion of a new preambular paragraph 6 that would stress that the responsibility for managing worldwide economic and social issues, as well as threats to international peace and security, must be shared among all nations and exercised multilaterally, with the United Nations playing a central role.  A new preambular paragraph 15 was also added, which would stress the need for adequate financing and technology to developing countries, in particular the landlocked developing countries and small island developing States.  He then called on all delegations to show their commitment to the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order by voting in favour of the draft.


The CHAIR then announced that a recorded vote had been requested and, in answer to the representative of Cuba, said that it had been asked for by the United States.


The representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said he believed it necessary to continue to work to reach an equitable international order.  However, the European Union believed that some elements of the text fell outside the purview of the Third Committee and had been chosen in an arbitrary manner.  In addition, the European Union reiterated that the Third Committee was not the appropriate forum to deal with those issues.  The language in operative paragraph 12 was prejudicial with respect to the review process in the Human Rights Council.  He would vote against the draft.


The Committee then approved the draft, as orally revised, by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 52 against, with 7 abstentions ( Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu).  (Annex II)


The Committee then prepared to take action on resolutions submitted under the agenda item on human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives.


The representative of Cuba, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, reaffirmed the points made by the Heads of State and Government of the Movement at its fourteenth conference in September 2006, regarding country-specific resolutions.  They had made a statement insisting on the need to prohibit the use of human rights for political ends, including by selectively singling out certain countries on irrelevant matters, and for taking actions that went against the founding principles of the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations Charter.  The Heads also rejected and condemned the practice of selectivity and double standards in promoting and protecting human rights and exploiting human rights as a pretext for attaining political ends.  As the chair of the coordination bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Government of Cuba encouraged all member countries of the Movement to bear those principles in mind as they voted on country-specific resolutions.


The representative of Uzbekistan then took the floor to say he had been absent during voting on draft resolution L.44, and said he would have voted in favour of it.  The Chair noted that the Committee was not addressing that particular agenda item.  Agreeing, the Secretary said he could not take note of the statement by the representative of Uzbekistan now.


The representative of Venezuela said he agreed with the sentiment voiced by the representative of Cuba, explaining that he would vote against the resolutions on the human rights situations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar and Iran, in line with his country’s policy on human rights and foreign policy in general.  Those drafts amounted to acts of politicization, selectivity and double standards, which were against the principles of the United Nations Charter.  The Human Rights Council was the most appropriate body for reviewing the human rights situations in countries, based on the principles of universality, impartiality, non-selectivity and international cooperation. 


The Council, he said, by way of the Universal Periodic Review process, was mandated to undertake a review of human rights situations in specific countries, based on the principles of objectivity and informed by fully supportable data on the compliance of each State with their human rights obligations.  That process provided for equal treatment for all States and allowed for the full participation of countries in question.  Certain countries used human rights as a political weapon against third States with the objective of criminalizing them, yet those very countries were responsible for invasions and other crimes against humanity.  For that reason, he urged that the practice of submitting country-specific resolutions not be repeated in the future.  He called on all States to continue to be strident defenders of human rights, without hypocrisy.


The representative of Cape Verde said he was convinced that human rights were indivisible and universal.  As recalled in numerous human rights texts, there could be no selective approach to human rights.  The fight for human rights was “too important” to risk actions that could undermine their very foundation, by dealing with the issue in ways that introduced prejudice and ignored their universal qualities.  He called on States not to make human rights a lever of pressure, or as a way to deflect criticism from their own situations.  Also, by dealing with country-specific situations in New York, the Committee was contributing to the distortion of human rights and posed limitations on the global fight for human rights.  The overall promotion of human rights could not be reduced to a subtle study of specific issues.  His country tried to make human rights an essential pillar of society, and as such, its Government would seek to defend human rights as a means for all societies to live in peace.


The representative of Libya expressed support for the statement made by Cuba on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and registered regret over the ongoing submission of political resolutions, targeting specific countries, and dealing with human rights in a selective manner.  Such issues should be dealt with in the Human Rights Council for a number of reasons, but, in particular, to avoid duplication in the work of the Third Committee and the Council.  The Council was an important institution, and it could help the international community avoid selectivity and politicization on human rights issues.  As a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, Libya reasserted the resolution of the fourteenth Summit, held in Havana in 2006, which rejected the targeting of any specific State, for the service of political interests.  For all those reasons, Libya would vote against the draft resolutions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar and Iran.


Sudan’s delegate, also aligning himself with the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that country-specific resolutions were being exploited to achieve political ends and had nothing to do with the protection of human rights.  Politicization had debilitated the work of the former Human Rights Commission.  Now that the Commission had been replaced by the Council -- with its Universal Periodic Review mechanism that dealt with all States “big and small” -- such resolutions were no longer necessary in the Third Committee.  Some States tried to politically target specific countries and he noted that “all these countries are developing, from the South”.  Against that backdrop, Sudan would vote against the country-specific resolutions and he called on all delegates to do the same.


The representative of Syria, also aligning herself with the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said her delegation fully rejected country-specific resolutions, which interfered with States on the pretext of human rights.   The United Nations Charter called for equal sovereignty among all States.  Responsible and objective dialogue, based on mutual respect and transparency, was the best way to achieve a rapprochement in views and to guarantee the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by all.  Syria would vote against the draft resolution on the human rights situation in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.


Algeria’s delegate, also aligning herself with the statement made on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that country-specific resolutions were adopted every year and, over the years, had shown their limits.  Far from promoting the protection of human rights, they exacerbated the situation, creating confrontations that undermined human rights.  Constructive dialogue and communication should be the top priority and, in an effort to ensure that such a situation existed, she suggested that the human rights situation be reviewed to avoid compromising the Human Rights Council by such resolutions.


The CHAIR then moved to take action on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (document A/C.3/63/L.26), which contained no programme budget implications.


The representative of France said the European Union and Japan were requesting the support of Member States on the resolution, which drew the attention of the international community to the ongoing violations of human rights being carried out in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  The draft also took note of a number of positive signs, as well, such as the submission of a periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child and further cooperation between the Government and the international community, through organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Food Programme.  It also recognized the importance of inter-Korean dialogue and its potential benefits.


Unfortunately, positive developments were few, he said, and there continued to be systematic, widespread violations of human rights in the country.  That situation reflected a lack of will by the Government to protect its citizens.  Among the violations being reported in the country were violations regarding torture; inhuman conditions of detention; lack of due process and the rule of law; the imposition of the death penalty for political and religious reasons; the situation of asylum seekers and restrictions on those attempting to leave the country; and concerns regarding freedom of expression.  The draft also expressed concern over violations of economic, social and cultural rights in the country, including violations adversely affecting vulnerable groups, and dealt with cases of gender discrimination and violations of the rights of workers.


Continuing, he said the draft urged the Government to put an end to those violations and to prosecute those who would exploit trafficking.  It also urged the Government to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur on the issue and other human rights mechanisms, and to give humanitarian actors, including United Nations, access to the people on the ground.  The co-sponsors of the resolution “believe that the General Assembly should not remain silent” on the issue and he appealed to all States to vote in favour of the draft, with a view to drawing greater international attention to the very worrying situation.


The representative of Japan said human rights were universal and no Government should be allowed to shirk its responsibility to promote and protect them.  Moreover, systematic violations of human rights should be addressed without delay.  Japan and the European Union had submitted the draft resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea because of its concern over the human rights situation in that country, and appealed for support from other States on that draft, so that the situation might change. 


He said that, to date, there had been non-substantial change in the human rights situation in that country.  It had refused to engage in dialogue with the Special Rapporteur.  That country must take action and engage in technical cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and grant full access to the Special Rapporteur and other United Nations human rights mechanisms and human rights organizations.  He further asked that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea allow abductees to return to Japan and other countries of origin. 


He said the draft had not been submitted for political reasons, nor because Japan practiced selectivity or double standards, but because it had wanted to promote genuine dialogue between the two countries.  Japan had been trying to encourage the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to improve its human rights situation, to no avail.  Indeed, the resolution was needed because the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea denied it even had a problem.  Also, while the Universal Periodic Review process was an important tool for the Human Rights Council to examine the situation in all Member States, countries were reviewed only once in four years.  In the case of ongoing, widespread violations, the international community must not wait for the universal review process, but address them without delay.  He underlined the fact that the Human Rights Council had a membership of 47 countries, while the Third Committee was an organ to which all United Nations Members States belonged.  Both the Council and the Third Committee should be able to address such situations; indeed, the Special Rapporteur had recommended that the international community ensure a calibrated approach by using its leverage to influence positive change.  He appealed to all to support the resolution and strongly requested the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to take the resolution seriously.


Seeking the floor for an explanation of position before the vote, the representative of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was told by the Chair that the Committee was still hearing general statements.


The representative of Singapore said that her country did not agree with country-specific resolutions as matter of principle, believing that they were politically motivated and acts of selectivity.  They amounted to arbitrary attacks by countries that were no angels themselves.  She regretted the misguided trend of tabling such resolutions in the Third Committee, when the human rights situation in countries should be taken up under the Universal Periodic Review process.  That was the reason the Review Process had been created in the first place.  For that reason, she would abstain from voting on this resolution and subsequent country-specific resolutions.


The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said he understood that usually there was a vote, and the Chair said that was only the case if there was a formal request, which the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea then made.


The representative then proceeded to reiterate his strong objection to the draft, saying it had been a product of political conspiracy to enforce a change to the ideology and system of his country.  It was the culmination of politicization and double standards in dealing with human rights.  Its co-authors were countries that blindly obeyed the United States, the worst peace disturber and human rights violator in the world.  Those countries connived with, and even supported, the United States’ armed invasions of sovereign States under the pretext of the war on terror.  Those countries practiced racial discrimination, maltreatment of immigrants, defamation of religions, murder and rape.  It was hypocritical for those countries to criticize the human rights situations in other countries.


He also pointed to Japan’s “disgraceful act” of sponsoring the resolution, as it was a criminal State, almost daily cracking down on the General Association of Korean Residents and Koreans in Japan.  South Korea’s cosponsoring of the draft was a reckless anti-national and anti-reunification move, constituting an open challenge to his country’s dignity and system, and a grave provocation to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  It was also a total denial of the 15 June North-South Joint Declaration and the 4 October Declaration.  South Korea had gone so far as to force a deletion, from the present resolution, of a paragraph supporting those declarations, which had been unanimously supported and welcomed by the United Nations, thus disclosing its ulterior intention of seeking confrontation with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.


He said his country was ready to participate in the Universal Periodic Review process and the reporting process of the various international human rights instruments.  However, his Government could not accept the attempt to single out the country.  Even with the repeated adoption of a resolution on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, its people –- with its people-centred system of socialism -- would remain invincible, and grow ever more powerful and prosperous.  He voiced hope that Member States would reject the attempt of the United States and Western countries to politicize the human rights issue.


The representative of Nepal supported the sentiment expressed in the draft regarding the need to resolve the issue of abduction of foreigners, and called on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to act on that matter soon.  However, he believed that country-specific situations should be dealt with by the Human Rights Council through the Universal Periodic Review process, and for that reason, he would abstain from voting on the draft currently before the Committee, as well as subsequent country-specific draft resolutions.


The representative of Malaysia, aligning himself with the position taken by Cuba on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that his country had long called for a non-confrontational approach, believing that human rights issues should be dealt with through dialogue, and on the principle of objectivity, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference, non-selectivity and transparency, while taking account of social, religious, and cultural characteristics of countries.  Human rights should not be used for political purposes, targeting specific countries for extraneous purposes.  He would vote against the draft and urged Member States to take advantage of the Universal Periodic Review to address human rights situations in a fair manner.  He also urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to resolve bilateral issues.


The representative of Myanmar said his delegation was firmly against the politicization of human rights and said the promotion of those rights should be done in the context of cooperation, not confrontation.  As a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, Myanmar stood in full support of the principles of the Movement and was fully against any attempt to exploit human rights for political reasons.  As such, his delegation would vote against the draft resolution.


Panama’s delegate said the Secretary-General’s report on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had shown that the human rights situation in that country was of concern, and there continued to be substantial and ongoing violations of human rights.  For that reason, Panama would vote in favour of the draft.  However, Panama was also seriously concerned about the fact that country-specific resolutions continued to be addressed in the Third Committee.  Addressing those situations was the work of the Human Rights Council, which had been created specifically to ensure the universal respect of human rights.  The Third Committee should offer its support to the Council, not overlap with its work.  Panama held that opinion in regard to all country-specific resolutions that would be considered.


The representative of Ecuador said the Human Rights Council was the body charged with dealing with human rights issues in a clear, non-political manner, and it was the ideal mechanism for such work, as its process was based on “equal footing”.  Ecuador did share the concerns of others over the human rights situation in a number of countries across the world, and it encouraged the Council to address those situations, in special sessions if necessary.  He informed the Committee that Ecuador would abstain from voting.


Egypt’s delegate said that, on principle, Egypt categorically opposed country-specific resolutions independent of the positive points contained in those drafts.  Country-specific resolutions used double standards and selectivity, and prevented issues from being dealt with in an objective manner.  The presentation of the draft resolution ran counter to efforts to promote international cooperation among all parties.  That was particularly unfortunate now, as the world prepared to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Egypt categorically rejected attempts to impose human rights views on others through country-specific resolutions.  International bodies should be strengthened, and a constructive dialogue with States should be undertaken.  Egypt would, therefore, vote against the draft.


The representative of Cuba, speaking in his national capacity, said human rights matters must be dealt with on the basis of genuine international cooperation, and should not be based on selectivity or double standards.  Cuba objected to the exploitation of human rights for political ends.  The Universal Periodic Review mechanism had been created to deal specifically with the human rights situations in specific countries, and therefore, the Human Rights Council was now the appropriate body in which to deal with such issues.  As such, Cuba would vote against the draft.


The representative of Antigua and Barbuda reaffirmed its support for the full respect of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.  Constructive dialogue, within the framework of international cooperation, should be used to address the most critical human rights issues.  As such, Antigua and Barbuda would take a principled approach on the issue and would abstain on all country-specific draft resolutions.


Colombia’s delegate said her country would also abstain from voting on the draft at hand.  At the same time, she drew the Committee’s attention to efforts made by Colombia to deal with the issue of kidnapping in the country and its efforts to “face off” against criminal organizations perpetrating such crimes.  Colombia rejected kidnappings and the pretexts wielded by those who committed those crimes, and stood in solidarity with victims.  As such, she called for the immediate release of all kidnapping victims and called for greater efforts to put an end to that crime.


The Committee then approved the resolution by a vote of 95 in favour to 24 against, with 62 abstentions (Annex III).


The representative of Indonesia said he had voted against the draft, regretting the fact that the Committee had once again had to deal with resolutions on country-specific situations.  An underlying reason for reforming the United Nations human rights machinery and for establishing the Human Rights Council was to address such situations in a non-politicized and credible manner.  He considered the resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea an act of politicization and selectivity.  He said the situation of human rights in specific countries should fall in the purview of the Human Rights Council.  Member States must focus on policy-oriented discussions through the General Assembly, including on ways to support the Human Rights Council in enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights.  He supported the international community’s determination to improve the human rights situation in all countries, including in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  But such issues should be pursued on the basis of mutual respect, dialogue and cooperation.  He encouraged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to pay attention to the legitimate concerns expressed through the draft, including on the abduction of foreigners.


The representative of Viet Nam, aligning herself with the representative of Cuba, said she had voted against the draft, but shared the concern of others on the issue of abduction.  Her Government did not support the practice of using resolutions to target specific countries on account of human rights.  The Universal Periodic Review was the most appropriate organ for dealing with the human rights situation in specific countries.


The representative of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic said the protection and promotion of human rights were the obligation of every nation, and that, as a party to international conventions, his Government believed that human rights issues should be addressed in the context of mutually beneficial cooperation, based on transparency, non-politicization and non-selectivity, while taking account of the political, historical, religious and cultural specificities of each country.  The draft text just passed had not been consistent with that principle and would contribute to the undesirable politicization of the General Assembly’s work.  For that reason, he had voted against it.  Regarding the issue of abduction, he extended his sympathies to the families of the victims and expressed hope that the international community would undertake preventive measures through a constructive and peaceful approach.


The representative of China said she believed that all countries should resolve their differences on human rights questions through dialogue and cooperation, on the basis of equality and mutual respect.  She noted that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was a developing country facing numerous economic difficulties.  She also noted that that country had made an effort to cooperate with the World Food Programme (WFP) and others with regard to humanitarian issues, and had submitted a report on rights of the child.  With the Universal Periodic Review process in operation, every country would be reviewed in an open, transparent and equal basis.  China was in favour of the international community continuing constructive dialogue with Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on human rights.  Naming and shaming would only serve to deepen confrontation.


The representative of Brazil said he had abstained from the vote, while noting with concern the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  Brazil was encouraged by that country’s willingness to cooperate with human rights bodies and was similarly encouraged by the statement of commitment to fulfil its obligations under the Universal Periodic Review process, as expressed by the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea today.  He also noted that the Government had cooperated with the WFP and was resuming its interaction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).


He voiced concern at the situation of human rights, in particular, instances of inhumane detention, public executions, forced labour, infringements on the freedom of expression and association, and other human rights violations.  He stressed the need to help support the Human Rights Council in protecting and promoting human rights.  That body should strive to create an enabling environment to address human rights situations amid a spirit of genuine cooperation, while avoiding politicization.  The submission of a national report by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea under the Universal Periodic Review process would be a step towards an improved relationship between that country and the United Nations.  The international community should show a willingness to cooperate with the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to overcome its challenges.


The representative of Belarus said he supported the consideration of country-specific situations within the context of the Universal Periodic Review.  The Third Committee did not have the time or tools to conduct an in-depth and expert study of human rights situations in individual countries.  For that reason, he had voted against the resolution.


The representative of India expressed hope that the abduction issue would be resolved soon.


In a general statement, the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said the Korean peninsula had been a “showcase of confrontation between the East and the West” during the cold war period.  Though the cold war might have ended in other parts of the world, it continued on the peninsula.  The resolution before the Committee was not based on human rights concerns; rather, it was an attempt by some countries to promote their own political interests.


He drew attention to comments made by the representative of Japan on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, calling Japan a “top-class” human rights abuser, having committed a number of human rights violations, including violations against Koreans.  Japan refused to express regret or make reparations for those crimes.  It was “disgusting” for Japan to talk about abduction issues when that issue involved little more than 10 individuals.  Upon request, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had conducted a nationwide investigation, found 13 Japanese abductees, and had expressed formal regret over its actions.  That was the reality, he said, of the “so-called” abduction issue.


Continuing, he said the promotion and protection of human rights was not the real intention of the resolution.  The resolution was based on a desire by some countries to change the power structure within his country, and those countries had been “railroading” a Democratic People’s Republic of Korea resolution since 2005.  They would continue to do so until they achieved the ends they desired, but that day would never come.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would continue to foster its own social system for the benefit of its citizens, and it would continue to grow ever more prosperous.  In closing, he welcomed the support shown by countries who had cast votes against the draft.


The Committee then moved to take action on the draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (document A/C.3/63/L.33).


On a point of order, the representative of Myanmar called for a no-action motion, as provided for in rule 116 of the rules of procedure.  The co-sponsors of the draft had deliberately targeted his country, despite the cooperation it had shown to the Special Rapporteur and other human rights mechanisms, which was a “clear case of politicization”.  He urged delegates to vote in favour of the no-action motion.


The CHAIR, in accordance with the rules of procedure, then gave the floor to two representatives to speak in favour of the motion and to two representatives to speak against.


Speaking in favour, the representative of China said her delegation had always opposed to the practice of using country-specific resolutions to exert pressure on a developing country.  With the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review mechanism in operation, countries concerned about violations of human rights in particular regions should refrain from introducing country-specific resolutions in the Third Committee.  In addition, she noted that the co-sponsors had generated strong doubt over their desire to build consensus and real dialogue, because of the exclusive nature with which they conducted consultations on the draft.


Also speaking in favour of the motion, the representative of the Russian Federation said that drafts of “selective, politicized and one-sided” country-specific resolutions often led to confrontations among Member States.  The creation of the Human Rights Council and the establishment of the Universal Periodic Review offered new opportunities now to establish better international cooperation on human rights.  With that in mind, the consideration of country-specific situations should now be conducted within the framework of the Universal Periodic Review, and not the Third Committee.


The representative of Norway, speaking against the motion introduced by Myanmar, expressed deep regret over the tabling of a no-action motion.  Regardless of their content, all texts submitted to the Committee should be reviewed on their merits, and delegations should be allowed to comment on them.  Procedural means should not be used to prevent action on substance and, for that reason, Norway opposed the no-action motion.  While there had been much talk about selectivity, serious human rights situations merited consideration, and the Third Committee should remain a forum for addressing such cases.  Criticism should be supplemented with dialogue, but dialogue should not preclude criticism when warranted.  No-action motions were tantamount to the Committee “turning a blind eye” to human rights violations and ran counter to the principles of dialogue.


The representative of New Zealand, also speaking against the motion, said that, for more than 30 years, the General Assembly had passed resolutions on human rights situations of concern and such resolutions had, over time, achieved positive results.  That said, such resolutions should only be adopted after negotiations with the countries concerned and the General Assembly had an important role to play in that regard.  The Universal Periodic Review mechanism did not replace country-specific resolutions, for a number of reasons.  For example, Myanmar would not be considered by the mechanism in the current year and would not be considered in the near future.  For that reason, New Zealand would vote against the motion and urged others to do the same.


The Committee then rejected the motion by a recorded vote of 90 against to 54 in favour, with 34 abstentions (Annex IV).


Resuming its consideration of resolution L.33, the representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union and other co-sponsors, called for support for the draft.


The representative of Myanmar raised a point of order to protest the incorrect usage of the name of his country by the representative of France, and the CHAIR reminded speakers to refer to States by their correct name.


Continuing his statement, the representative of France, first made an oral amendment to paragraph 3 (f) of the text.  He then called on the authorities of the country subject to the resolution to engage in dialogue and to cooperate fully with United Nations mechanisms in the area of human rights.  The draft would have the Assembly welcome efforts to improve cooperation and would encourage that such efforts continue and be strengthened.  The Assembly would pay tribute to the work of the good offices missions of the Secretary-General.


He said the draft would also note that the previous resolution on the human rights situation in Myanmar and the outcome of the fifth special session of the Human Rights Council had not been implemented.  The recent constitutional referendum had produced few rules to promote and protect free and equitable elections, and to provide for freedom of expression and assembly.  No attempt had been made to prosecute those guilty of repressing the acts of peaceful protest from a year ago, and to halt the use of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance.  Serious prison sentences were doled out to human rights defenders and members of civil society, as the result of unfair trials.  There had been reports of new human rights violations, including the recruitment of child solders, the use of forced labour and instances of forced displacements.  In tabling the draft, the European Union had wanted to mobilize the international community to deal with that worrying situation, and to call on that country’s authorities to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by the population.  He expressed hope that the draft would be adopted.


The representative of Myanmar said the draft resolution was flawed procedurally and in terms of substance, and was part of a yearly ritual meant to put political pressure on his country under the pretext of promoting and protecting human rights.  Compared to last year, it was a harsher text, which attested to the desire of its co-sponsors to maintain that political pressure.  It had even attempted to politicize the tragic humanitarian disaster resulting from Cyclone Nargis.


In tabling the resolution, he said they were ignoring the position agreed to by their leaders in a statement at the seventh Asia-Europe Summit in Beijing in October, where leaders had acknowledged progress in assisting post-Nargis relief work by the Tripartite Core Group comprising Myanmar, the United Nations and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).  He recalled that, on 22 October, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, had briefed the Third Committee on measures taken by the Government, including its cooperation with the United Nations to coordinate a humanitarian response with the help of ASEAN and others.  The draft resolution would denigrate the recent referendum, in which the people of Myanmar had expressed their overwhelming support for the Constitution, and failed to welcome the granting of amnesty to over 9,000 prisoners, including some high profile prisoners whose release had been especially requested by Mr. Gambari.


He said the draft was clearly aimed at derailing the Government’s seven-step political road map to democracy, by using the bloc voting power of the European Union.  Its aim was not to promote human rights.  The text was replete with allegations emanating from exiles and remnants of an insurgent group, and would serve as a conduit for such persons.  The draft further intruded into areas that were within the domestic jurisdiction of Myanmar, under the United Nations Charter.


He noted that the Committee had earlier adopted resolution L.31 on coercive measures; yet the European Union had implemented such measures against his country for years.  The United States, one of the co-sponsors, had passed laws and executive orders which had extraterritorial effects and were against international law.  Those examples would indicate that the co-sponsors were seeking to put pressure on Myanmar in every forum, under any pretext.  The current draft, too, was one such device.


He said the exploitation of human rights for political purposes was unwarranted and a cause of deep concern.  More alarming was the European Union’s lack of respect for the reform package adopted by the Human Rights Council in June 2007.  He reiterated the fact that the Council had been established to consider situations in specific countries and, indeed, contrary to what the representative of New Zealand had said, it would be considering the situation of human rights in Myanmar.  The Government was also cooperating with the Special Rapporteur, who had visited in August.  It was cooperating with the Secretary-General’s good offices, through Mr. Gambari, who made his sixth visit in August and, at his request, it had granted amnesty to 9,000 prisoners.


He said the Government had continued its national reconciliation efforts and had opened door for dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi.  It had made progress on its seven-step road map.  It had drafted a new constitution, which was approved by the people in a nationwide referendum by an overwhelming majority.  The fifth step in the road map was the holding of a multi-party election in 2010, which the Government had pledged would be free and fair.  The European Union seemed to turn a blind eye to those tangible results.


He said the resolution contained elements that infringed on his country’s sovereignty and, if left unchallenged, would set a dangerous precedent for all developing countries.  He recalled that the Non-Aligned Movement had taken a principled position against the exploitation of human rights for political purposes.  Stressing that the draft was an attempt to put pressure on a developing country, he appealed to all developing countries, as a matter of principle, to vote against the draft.


He then called for a recorded vote on the text.


As the Chair moved to adjourn the morning meeting, the representative of Myanmar, on a point of order, asked whether the voting process could be suspended in such a manner, since, under the rules of procedure, it was not possible to postpone action once the voting process had begun.


The CHAIR informed him that the Committee had not yet started with the voting procedure.  The representative of the Sudan suggested that, since the Committee had already moved to take action on the draft and had begun to hear statements, the voting procedure had begun.


The SECRETARY informed the Committee that, under rule 128, it was only after the Chairman announced the beginning of voting that the voting could not be interrupted.  Since the Chair had not announced that voting had begun, the voting procedure was not in effect and the Committee would be able to break.  The representative of Myanmar said his delegation would abide by the Chair’s decision.


Before moving to a vote, the representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina were also co-sponsors of the resolution, which he feared “had not been heard” during his statement earlier.


Raising a point of order, the representative of Myanmar said that, according to what he heard through the interpreters, the representative of France had once again referred to his country by the wrong name.  The CHAIR again reminded all delegations to refer to Myanmar by its officially recognized name.


In connection with that issue, the representative of Guinea-Bissau, also raising a point of order, stressed that it was a question of courtesy to use the correct names of countries, which the CHAIR said was a sentiment that he firmly supported.


Making a statement before the vote, the representative of Barbados said his country had had a complex history involving colonization and slavery, and was sensitive to the effects of such phenomena.  He expressed concern at what he saw as highly politicized debates on country-specific resolutions.  His country had hoped that the establishment of the Human Rights Council would usher in a new approach to such issues, but a confrontational approach continued.  He was disappointed that, despite the creation of relevant mechanisms, unproductive country-specific resolutions continued to be brought to the Committee.  His Government’s principled and consistent procedure was to support no-action motions or to abstain from a vote.  However, that should not be misconstrued as a lack of concern for human rights issues.  Indeed, the Government was concerned by patterns of human rights violations throughout the world, and he encouraged countries to tackle the matter in a spirit of cooperation.


The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said the European Union had long been putting forth resolutions on Myanmar, thus attempting to interfere in its internal affairs under the guise of human rights protection.  Change could not be imposed through country-specific resolutions.  Only through dialogue, cooperation and engagement could the international community seek to advance human rights locally and globally.  In line with his Government’s principled position to oppose such resolutions, and in line with the statement of the Non-Aligned Movement at the Havana Summit of 2006, which affirmed the need for a constructive dialogue underpinned by a respect for sovereignty and the principles of non-interference, he would vote against the draft resolution.


The representative of Malaysia said there needed to be a more constructive approach to human rights issues.  Human rights should not be exploited for political purposes, in ways that were contrary to the United Nations Charter.  Based on that principled position, he would vote against the draft and once again called on States to use the Universal Periodic Review mechanism to deal with country-specific issues.  He called on Myanmar to continue its cooperative efforts with the Secretary-General’s good offices.


Egypt’s representative said it was her country’s practice to vote against country-specific resolutions, because they could entrench the practice of selectivity and politicization of human rights issues.  Instead, Member States should help countries to develop their own capacities for development, without turning to threats.  She also objected to the manner in which the resolutions had been put forward, saying there had been no objective discussions on the texts, thus contradicting the principle of multilateral cooperation.  The human rights situations in countries should be dealt with through the Human Rights Council, and under clear terms of reference, where a report could be given to the General Assembly for discussion and handled accordingly.  Egypt rejected efforts by some to impose “guardianship” over human rights situations in specific countries in such a selective manner.  States should promote the use of relevant mechanisms and enhance the capacity of the international community to engage in constructive dialogue.  Egypt would vote against the draft.


The representative of Thailand said that, as Myanmar’s neighbour, he wished to see peace, stability and development in that country.  Thailand had been, and would continue to be, supportive of the good offices process of the Secretary-General and his Special Adviser, and noted the important developments in the past year, especially the Secretary-General’s visits in May and visits by Mr. Gambari and the Special Rapporteur.  Those engagements and dialogues had yielded some positive results:  general elections had been set for 2010, which the Government should ensure were free, fair and meaningful; the ASEAN-led response in the wake of Cyclone Nargis had shown that it was possible for the international community to work with Myanmar for the benefit of the Myanmar people; and partnership between Myanmar and the United Nations had been reaffirmed through everyday engagement in the framework of the Tripartite Core Group.  He shared the common wish to see the advancement of human rights in that country through constructive dialogue.  Thailand would work with Myanmar, ASEAN, the United Nations and others to promote national reconciliation.  Meanwhile, he would abstain from the vote.


The representative of Ecuador said that, while the international community had the right to examine the human rights situations in various countries, such examinations should be done within the structures of the Human Rights Council.  In the case of serious or massive violations of human rights, the Council was in the best possible position to manage the situation.  With that in mind, Ecuador would abstain from voting.


The representative of Syria rejected any attempt by any State to interfere in the internal affairs of any other, under the pretext of human rights.  The United Nations Charter called for the sovereign equality of all Member States and the non-interference in the internal affairs of States for political reasons.  Understanding and dialogue, based on mutual respect for sovereignty and transparency, would be necessary to protect human rights and to fully guarantee the fundamental rights and freedoms of all, in accordance with international law and in consideration of national and regional specificities.  The Human Rights Council was the appropriate forum for discussions of specific country situations.  Insisting on dealing with those issues in the Third Committee undermined the international consensus on human rights mechanisms.  In view of those factors, his delegation would vote against the resolution.


The draft was approved by a vote of 89 in favour, to 29 against, with 63 abstentions (Annex V).


Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of Belarus said his delegation had voted against the resolution on Myanmar for the same reasons that it had voted against the earlier draft on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.


The representative of Brazil said his delegation had voted in favour of the draft.  While welcoming steps taken in the context of the political road map and other progress made by Myanmar, Brazil remained concerned about the human rights situation in the country, particularly in regard to the number of political activists detained in the country and the extreme response to attempts by some groups to assemble.  Issues relating to minority rights and the needs of internally displaced persons were also of concern.  He expressed hope that, through the Human Rights Council and through greater international cooperation and dialogue, the situation would soon be reversed.


Cuba’s delegate said his delegation would continue to reject any exploitation of human rights for political ends and any attempt at double standards or selectivity in the field.  Human rights should be guided by the principle of genuine cooperation and objectivity.  The Council was the ideal venue to address those issues, and Member States should work within that framework, and within the Universal Periodic Review, to assess such country-specific issues.


The representative of the Niger asked for his delegation’s vote to be corrected, and changed from a vote against to an abstention.


The representative of India said his country had consistently emphasized the importance of the promotion of human rights through dialogue and cooperation.  Initiatives on the human rights situation in Myanmar should begin from a “forward-looking” standpoint and be conducted in a non-confrontational manner.  Additionally, recent steps taken by the Government of Myanmar, specifically in terms of progress in political reforms, must be recognized.  The draft resolution did not reflect those positive steps taken, nor was it in line with the Secretary-General’s mission to develop his good offices, with a view to improving the situation on the ground.  Instead, it seemed to have a tone of condemnation about it and, as such, his delegation had voted against the resolution.


The representative of Indonesia expressed deep regret over the failure by the Committee to reach consensus on the draft.  The international community should have a common approach on Myanmar, in support of the Secretary-General’s good offices, and should have taken into account recent progress made by the Government of Myanmar.  His delegation had voted against the text, because it exposed the international community to division on the issue.  Indonesia had supported a consensus resolution text on Myanmar, which could have encouraged greater efforts by the Government, and he expressed disappointment over the failure of the co-sponsors of the draft to seek that consensus.  As an ASEAN member, Indonesia would continue to support Myanmar in its transition to democracy and to support the Secretary-General’s good offices.


The representative of Viet Nam said her delegation had voted against the draft resolution.  Viet Nam, as a neighbour to Myanmar, supported the Secretary-General’s good offices approach to the situation in Myanmar.  Yet, the draft before the Committee failed to incorporate that approach.  It also failed to note recent positive developments, including the visit of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser.


The representative of Japan said he had voted in favour of the resolution because he hoped it would help improve the human rights situation in Myanmar.  However, he expressed concern that the draft had been submitted without a substantive discussion of proposals made by Japan and other countries.


Those amendments would have welcomed steps taken by Myanmar in the past year, including its announcement to establish a time frame for its democratization and for the release of political prisoners.  He regretted that those proposals had not been incorporated into the text, and also regretted that the amendments that had been made had been done without substantiating the information.


He was also concerned by the long-term imprisonment of political activists and hoped that the democratization process would involve all concerned parties.  He voiced hope that the Government would implement measures that would lead to concrete improvements in the human rights situation, and Japan would provide assistance to achieve those goals.  In addition, Japan would continue supporting the good offices efforts of the Secretary-General.  He urged Myanmar to continue cooperating with the Special Rapporteur, humanitarian organizations and other members of the international community.


The representative of Costa Rica said his country maintained the principle of voting against no-action motions, since such motions prevented the Committee from helping improve the situation of human rights around the world, especially in the face of alarming human rights violations.  He called on the States in question to listen to the concerns voiced by the international community.  Even so, he reiterated what his Government had said last year, which was that the Human Rights Council should have a prominent role with regard to country-specific situations.  The Universal Periodic Review mechanism should boost the Council’s credibility and, in turn, the Human Rights Council should be given the opportunity to do what it had been set up to do.  He respectfully called on Member States to stop dealing with the issue in the same way as in previous sessions.


The representative of Myanmar said the results of the vote had demonstrated a tyranny of the minority.  The 46 co-sponsors had managed to rustle up 89 votes, through political pressure exerted here and in various capitals.  The resolution had no moral authority and was contrary to the principle of non-interference, as stated in the United Nations Charter, and deserved to be rejected.  He would have opposed the resolution, even if he had stood alone, but he was grateful to members of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Conference, the Asian Group, the African Group, the Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries, the Arab League and ASEAN, who, despite pressure from the European Union, took a principled position and stood shoulder to shoulder with Myanmar, either by casting a negative vote or abstaining.


He said their votes or abstentions meant that the politicization of human rights would not be tolerated, and had shown support for the notion that human rights must be addressed through a multilateral forum, respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference.  He also expressed deep gratitude to Myanmar’s neighbours and to the Russian Federation for speaking in support of the no-action motion.  He would continue to oppose the use of human rights for political purposes, interference in the political affairs of other States, and all measures that selectively targeted developing countries.  The draft would subvert the freely expressed will of the people of Myanmar, as expressed through the national referendum.  Disassociating himself from the resolution, he said Myanmar would not be bound by it.  Meanwhile, his Government would continue to cooperate with the Secretary-General’s good offices missions, because cooperation with the United Nations was a cornerstone of Myanmar’s foreign policy.


The Committee then moved to take action on the draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran (document A/C.3/63/L.40), which contained no programme budget implications.


The representative of Canada, the main sponsor of the draft, said there had been a “continued deterioration” in the performance of the Government of Iran in protecting human rights in the country, since the previous resolution on Iran had been adopted.  The co-sponsors did not take lightly the idea of tabling the draft, and they looked forward to the time when they would no longer need to.  Until that time, the co-sponsors would continue to call attention to the situation on the ground.


On a point of order, the representative of Iran called for a no-action motion on the draft, in accordance with rule 116 of the rules of procedure.


The CHAIR informed the Committee that, in accordance with the rules of procedure, two delegations would speak in favour and two against.


Speaking in favour, the representative of Pakistan said it was important for the international human rights agenda to be addressed in a fair and balanced manner, based on dialogue and cooperation.  Country-specific resolutions reflected politicization of human rights issues instead of building cooperation.  At the same time, those resolutions often ignored the progress made in the area of human rights.  She, therefore, urged all delegations to support the motion.


The representative of Venezuela, also speaking in favour, emphatically rejected the consideration of the draft, since it was selective and political.  Country-specific resolutions worked against the promotion of human rights, and he urged all delegates to refrain from such action.


Speaking against the motion, the representative of Canada said that the resolution had been co-sponsored by 44 Member States who firmly believed that the Third Committee had a right and responsibility to consider the issue.  The Committee would undermine its own credibility and that of the General Assembly if it refused to undertake its responsibility to consider grave human rights situations brought before it.  By a procedural manoeuvre, Iran hoped to prevent the consideration of the issue on its merits.  Allowing the no-action motion to pass would reward those who sought to “use and abuse” the rules of procedure to avoid inspection of their human rights record and, even worse, would send a negative message to human rights activists in the country.  Silencing the Third Committee would run contrary to collective efforts to uphold the mandate of the General Assembly and the universal rights of all people.  Iran was trying to avoid scrutiny, and Canada and all co-sponsors urged members to vote against the motion, out of principle.


Also speaking against the motion, the representative of Australia said the no-action motion was “totally inappropriate” and an abuse of the rules of procedure.  If the motion was not voted down, it would prevent discussion of a human rights issue in the Committee, which was the very reason the Committee met.  Every serious human rights issue put forward for discussion should be considered and debated, with Member States expressing their views.  He urged all members who wanted to preserve their right to speak to vote against the motion.


The no-action motion was then rejected by a recorded vote of 81 against to 71 in favour, with 28 abstentions (Annex VI).


Continuing his earlier statement, the representative of Canada said that, by calling attention to the situation in Iran, the co-sponsors hoped that it would generate positive change and accelerate progress on human rights in the country.  The greatest actors of change in Iran were the people of Iran themselves, and the co-sponsors hoped that the resolution would provide support and encouragement to those Iranians.  The Secretary-General’s report on the situation in the country detailed the ongoing violations of human rights in the country.  The draft resolution was a balanced and accurate text, based on that report.  He noted that, despite the credit given to Iran in the report regarding a moratorium on juvenile executions, only three weeks ago Iran had hung its seventh juvenile offender in 2008.  He also noted the lack of cooperation between Iran and international human rights mechanisms and said that the international community needed to speak out and hold the Government accountable for the human rights violations of its citizens.  Therefore, he urged all delegations to support the resolution.


Before the Committee proceeded to take action on the draft, the representative of Argentina said that she had meant to vote against the no-action motion, which was noted by the Chair.


The representative of Syria sought the floor to explain his vote before action, only to be reminded by the Chair that a vote had not yet been requested.


To that, the representative of Iran asked to be the last speaker before the Committee moved to a vote, prompting the Chair to give him the floor.


The representative of Iran said the Canadian delegation was exploiting procedural deficiencies, gaps and ambiguities surrounding the United Nations human rights process to entice the Committee to consider another politically-motivated resolution against his country.  The draft was an example of selectivity and double standards, containing “falsified and unsubstantiated elements”.  He believed the draft was a response to a bilateral dispute between Iran and Canada, and was part of the latter’s campaign of disinformation against Iran.  He stood ready to shed light on assertions made in the text, and indeed a 17-page compilation of updated information, supported by solid and documented facts, regarding the actual human rights situation in Iran and illustrating the steady trend of improvements had been presented to the General Assembly as document A/C.3/63/6 of 4 November, and was readily available to all.


He said the pattern of voting of previous years had shown that the resolution had been rejected or “disliked” by a solid majority, who had decided to vote against, abstain or not to vote at all.  It was surprising that the Government of Canada had styled itself as a human rights advocate, when factual information released by authentic, credible, international sources such as intergovernmental organizations, United Nations human rights treaty bodies, human rights defenders, non-governmental organizations and various credible members of the media had disclosed information on outstanding cases of Canada’s non-compliance with its international obligations towards its own citizens, particularly migrants and foreigners residing in the country, as well as its repressive tactics against its aborigines and other minorities.  Grave concerns had also been expressed over the situation of individuals deprived of their liberty while awaiting trial or sentencing, continued allegations of police brutality, and inappropriate use of illicit chemical agents by law enforcement authorities in the context of crowd control.


He said other co-sponsors of the draft resolution also had “undefendable” human rights records.  People everywhere deserved the opportunity to live in dignity and respect, free from discrimination, injustice and inequality. The international community should pay attention to human rights situation in all corners of the world, without exception and ulterior motives.  Iran had participated in the reform processes of the United Nations human rights machinery and in the establishment of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism within the Council, under which Iran would be considered in 2010, to put an end to the politicization and manipulation of the human rights machinery by a few countries.  Resorting to duplicative means of singling out human rights situations in any given country through country-specific resolutions would be a blow to the system, and was itself an obstacle to the achievement of common human rights goals.


He said his country was a party to major human rights instruments and complied fully with its international commitments, and was actively engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights as provided for in its Constitution.  Iran’s human rights policy emanated from its national and regional particularities, as well as its cultural, historical and religious background.  It had always emphasized an interactive and cooperative approach to its human rights obligations.  He wished to confirm that much had been done, and he expressed a firm conviction to build on the progress achieved thus far.  Iran would continue to promote and protect human rights irrespective of the adoption or rejection of the resolution.  He expected the Committee to opt for the preservation of the dignity, credibility and legitimacy of United Nations human rights mechanisms, and called for its members to vote against the draft.


The CHAIR asked for clarification on whether the representative of Iran was asking for a recorded vote, to which the representative said yes.


On a procedural issue, the representative of Uganda asked whether the Committee had moved to explanations of vote before the vote, and was informed by the Chair that explanations of vote had not yet begun.  However, as there were no delegates who sought to make general statements, explanations of vote, prior to voting, began.


The representative of Belarus said the draft was “unjustified and politicized” and created a counter-productive atmosphere in the Committee.  Belarus favoured the consideration of country-specific situations in the Human Rights Council, which was able to address issues in a comprehensive and expert manner.  For that reason, Belarus would vote against the draft.


The representative of Syria said that country-specific resolutions detracted from the credibility of the whole human rights framework.  All delegates knew that international consensus had been achieved on the international human rights bodies and, as such, the Third Committee should refrain from interfering in the affairs of a country, which was totally against the United Nations Charter.  Understanding and dialogue would be necessary to bring the diverse points of views held by States, together.  Syria believed that all delegations should be against the current resolution, since it was incompatible with international human rights values.  The initiative created a double standard, if dealt with in the Third Committee, and such issues should instead be dealt with in the Human Rights Council and though its Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which would examine the situation in all Member States and not just a few.  Noting Israel’s co-sponsorship of the draft, he asked whether the inclusion of that country might undermine the credibility of the draft, as Israel had committed its own violations of human rights and continued to do so in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.


The representative of Uganda, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, said country-specific resolutions selectively targeted countries and politicized human rights issues.  Such action did nothing to promote human rights, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, therefore, encouraged all delegates to vote against the draft.


The representative of Egypt said her delegation continued to be opposed to the introduction of country-specific resolutions, in principle, regardless of the content of those resolutions.  Such resolutions did not deal with problems in an objective manner or in a framework of cooperation and dialogue.  Instead, they invoked threats and fell prey to politicization.  Country-specific issues should be examined through the Universal Periodic Review mechanism and the Human Rights Council.  In accordance with the position of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement, Egypt would vote against the draft resolution.


The representative of Ecuador reaffirmed the Human Rights Council as the central body to be called upon to protect human rights in a transparent and non-selective manner.  Ecuador supported the creation of the Council, so that the international community could examine the human rights situations in all countries of the world.  While Ecuador shared concerns about the vulnerability of the human rights situations in certain countries, those concerns should be considered within the Council.  He expressed regret over efforts to undermine the work of the Council through politicized actions.  Country-specific resolutions would not improve the situation in any country and, as such, Ecuador would abstain from voting.


The representative of Libya expressed regret over the submission of a selective and politicized draft resolution.  The issues contained in the draft should be examined within the Human Rights Council, which was the ideal forum for dealing with important issues.  For that reason, Libya would vote against the draft, as it had done on similar resolutions in the past.


The representative of Venezuela said, if the draft resolution were to be approved, it would only create more conflict and complications in Third Committee debates.  For example, in the coming year, it would be possible for dozens of resolutions to be introduced on a variety of human rights situations across the world.  While not naming names, he said that all delegates should be careful about where such resolutions could lead, and how complicated Committee debates could become.


The representative of Nicaragua said her country upheld the sentiments expressed by Cuba, and, thus, rejected the practice of selectivity and politicization of human rights.  The Human Rights Council was the best body to examine human rights issues, including situations in specific countries through a process of evaluation that was based on the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity, and through constructive dialogue.   The Universal Periodic Review process would enable all countries to be examined on an equal footing.  Nicaragua would continue to vote against resolutions that pointed a finger at specific countries.


The representative of Cuba reiterated his position against the use of human rights for political reasons, including singling out certain countries for reasons that were not relevant to the issue at hand, including to promote the hegemonic interests of certain countries.  It was important to reject and condemn the practice of selectivity and double standards with regard to the protection of human rights.  The draft sought to exploit human rights for political aims.  Any treatment of human rights should be based on genuine international cooperation.  The ideal framework for promoting cooperation on situations of concern was provided by the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review process.  For that reason, he would vote against the draft.


The draft was approved by a vote of 70 in favour to 51 against, with 60 abstentions (Annex VII).

Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of Japan said he had voted in favour of the text in view of the human rights situation in Iran, which required further improvement.  However, he appreciated the efforts undertaken by the Government of Iran to achieve improvements in some areas.  For instance, on 26 October, Japan and Iran had engaged in their fifth dialogue on human rights, which had also focused on reform of the judicial system.  In that connection, Japan welcomed Iran’s decision to prohibit the death penalty from being administered to juveniles.


The representative of Brazil said he had abstained from the vote because his Government strongly supported the consolidation of the Human Rights Council as the main body responsible for promoting and protecting human rights.  The Council should strive to create an enabling environment to improve human rights situations worldwide.  However, Brazil did note with concern the situation of human rights in Iran, especially with regard to women’s rights, freedom of speech and association, the perceived lack of due process, juvenile executions, public executions and other forms of inhumane treatment, the violation of minority rights –- such as of the Baha’i community, which included the arbitrary denial of services and seizure of property.  But, he also noted progress in the area of health care, and noted positive steps taken towards legal reform, especially with regard to correcting discriminatory laws.  He noted the enhanced cooperation between Iran and the United Nations, and its standing invitation to Human Rights Council special procedures mandate holders.  He hoped the Government would strengthen dialogue with the Human Rights Council and other human rights mechanisms.


The representative of Ireland said she had voted in favour of the draft and that her vote had been correctly reflected on the board.  But when machine was locked, her vote appeared to have been registered as an abstention.  In response, the SECRETARY explained that the official result would hold, and that Ireland had indeed been recorded as having abstained.  But, he said that her statement to the contrary would be recorded in the official records.


Also speaking to correct her vote, the representative of Namibia said that she had intended to abstain from the vote on resolutions L.26 and L.33, which the CHAIR acknowledged.


The Committee next turned to the draft resolution on trafficking in women and girls (document A/C.3/63/L.13/Rev.1), whose main sponsor, the representative of the Philippines, thanked all delegations for contributing to the negotiation process.


The representative of Peru drew attention to the Spanish language version of the draft to make a number of oral revisions to operative paragraph 12, to ensure that it was in line with the English version.  He noted that the text, especially operative paragraph 12, was the subject of intense debate and needed a proper translation in all languages.  That was a permanent requirement that should be scrupulously respected.


The Secretary duly took note of his concern.


The representative of Mexico said his delegation shared the aim of the last part of operative paragraph 12, encouraging Governments to prevent victims of trafficking from being prosecuted.  However, the use of the world “illegal” was rather unfortunate, as it might imply that victims could be the subject of criminal proceedings, regardless of the fact that they were victims.  He expressed regret over the failure to achieve clear language in favour of the victims of trafficking on the issue.  While Mexico held the view that some of the co-sponsors should have been more willing to come up with an alternative to the text, it believed that the draft did contain many good provisions, and it would, therefore, join consensus on the draft.


The representative of Ecuador said that his delegation was concerned about trafficking in women and girls, as reflected in its own national efforts.  Despite Ecuador’s commitment to all international initiatives to combat such trafficking, it was important for national and international efforts to be in line with each other.  While Ecuador would join the consensus on the draft, he asked that his comments be included in the record.


The Committee approved the draft, as orally revised, without a vote.


The Committee then took up the draft on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (document A/C.3/63/L.53/Rev.1).  The Chair drew the Committee’s attention to the draft’s programme budget implications, as contained in document A/C.3/63/L.72.


One of its two main sponsors, the representative of Slovenia, explained that the resolution was a response to the request to extend meeting time of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  With 173 ratifications, it was the most widely ratified international instrument.  At present, 28 reports were awaiting consideration.  It was thought that increasing its total meeting time to eight weeks a year would provide the necessary time for the Committee to consider the reports before it, which, in turn, had been informed by an evaluation conducted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.  She thanked the draft’s co-sponsors for supporting the text and expressed hope that it would be possible to approve the resolution by consensus.


The representative of United States then called for a separate vote on paragraph 13 of the text, by which the Assembly would decide to authorize the Committee to meet for an additional week per session, as a temporary measure, with effect from August 2009 until 2011.  However, he made clear that, despite such a vote on a question dealing with financial resources, he would join consensus on the resolution.


The representative of Belgium said she regretted the call for a vote on that paragraph.  The paragraph which would have the Assembly decide to grant an additional week per session until 2011 was a main element of the resolution.  Six weeks was not sufficient for the Committee to deal with all the reports before it.  Belgium and Slovenia called all States to vote in favour of that paragraph.


The paragraph was then approved by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 8 abstentions (Fiji, Japan, Malaysia, Mozambique, Poland, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom) (Annex VIII).


The representative of Egypt raised a point of order, saying that, according to rule 129 of the rules of procedure, because a vote had been held following a motion of division, a vote should be held on the resolution as a whole.  Responding, the SECRETARY of the Committee said that, according to a discussion on rule 129 five or six years ago, the Committee had decided that parts of proposal may be voted on separately, unless an objection was raised against the motion.  No such objection had been made prior to the motion to vote on paragraph 13.  Thus, rule 129 would not apply to this case.  The CHAIR added that, after consulting with the Office of Legal Affairs, it was his belief that rule 129 did not apply.  If any delegation wished a vote on the resolution as a whole, such a vote must be formally requested.


The representative of Egypt said he had not heard that explanation before, and asked the Secretary to provide more details on the practice of the Committee in that regard.


The CHAIR said the Office of Legal Affairs said that, in the absence of an objection, draft resolutions and decisions would be adopted without a vote.  As for rule 129, a practice had emerged within the Committee where, in the absence of an objection, resolutions might be adopted without a vote, even if parts of it had been voted on separately.  He then asked if a formal request for a vote was, in fact, being made.


The representative of Egypt asked, in the case of an objection to such a motion, which was the correct rule to invoke.  To his understanding, it was the Committee’s practice to vote on resolutions where a separate vote had been held on its component parts.


The SECRETARY said that, up to 2003, the Committee’s practice had been not to move to a vote without a prior request from a delegation in the case of a “division of a proposal”.  A lengthy procedural debate had taken place in 2003 regarding rule 129, resulting in that interpretation, although it had not been applied systematically -- for example, if the representative of Egypt was not in the room at the time to invoke it.  The legal opinion provided in 2003 had been explained by the Chair and, for that reason, if delegations would like him to reread the statement, he would do so.  It was also the practice of Committees not to interpret rule 129 as providing a legal framework for automatically moving to a vote whenever a motion of division had been submitted.


The representative of Egypt reminded the Secretary that, even if he was absent, another person from his delegation would have carried on in his place.  He then asked for precise details regarding the application of rule 129, as interpreted by the Committee in 2003.


The SECRETARY apologized for any insult that might have been felt, as that had not been the intention.


A lengthy procedural discussion ensued involving the representatives of Costa Rica, New Zealand, India, Guatemala, United Republic of Tanzania, China, Gambia, Lebanon, France, Germany, Syria and Belgium.  The thrust of the discussion was whether or not the committee had to vote on the resolution as a whole after it had taken a vote on a separate paragraph.  Following the discussion, the representative of Egypt requested a vote on the resolution, saying it had been a practice of the Committee to also vote on a text as a whole once a separate vote had been held on its component parts.


The CHAIR opened the floor to delegates for explanations of vote, which led the representative of Malaysia to state that his country was not party to the Convention.  However, since he recognized the importance of the Convention to the Committee and to its State parties, he would vote in favour of the draft, with the understanding that it would only apply to those who were party to it.


The representative of Egypt then requested all parties to vote in favour of the draft, and took the opportunity to clarify for a final time that he had initially requested a vote in line with rule 129.  He noted that there was no evidence that the Committee had departed from that practice in the past five years.


The draft was approved by a vote of 178 in favour to none against, with no abstentions (Annex IX).


(annexes follow)


ANNEX I


Vote on Unilateral Coercive Measures


The draft resolution on human rights and unilateral coercive measures (document A/C.3/63/L.31) was approved by a recorded vote of 124 in favour to 52 against, with no abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  None.


Absent:  Angola, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uganda, Zimbabwe.


ANNEX II


Vote on Equitable International Order


The draft resolution on promoting a democratic and equitable international order (document A/C.3/63/L.44) was approved by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 52 against, with 7 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Argentina, Armenia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu.


Absent:  Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Uzbekistan.


ANNEX III


Vote on Human Rights in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea


The draft resolution on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (document A/C.3/63/L.26) was approved by a recorded vote of 95 in favour to 24 against, with 62 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Chile, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu.


Against:  Algeria, Belarus, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Libya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Oman, Russian Federation, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.


Abstain:  Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Zambia.


Absent:  Armenia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Mongolia, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Tunisia.


ANNEX IV


Vote on No-Action Motion on Myanmar


The on motion to take no action on the draft resolution in the situation of human rights in Myanmar (document A/C.3/63/L.33) was rejected by a recorded vote of 90 against to 54 in favour, with 34 abstentions, as follows:


Against:  Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu.


In favour:  Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Libya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Oman, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Abstain:  Belize, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Trinidad and Tobago, United Republic of Tanzania.


Absent:  Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Gambia, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Togo.


ANNEX V


Vote on Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar


The draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (document A/C.3/63/L.33) was approved by a recorded vote of 89 in favour to 29 against, with 63 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu.


Against:  Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brunei Darussalam, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Libya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Russian Federation, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.


Abstain:  Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Barbados, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Dominica, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Suriname, Swaziland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Zambia.


Absent:  Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Madagascar, Micronesia (Federated States of), Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Tunisia.


ANNEX VI


Vote on No-Action Motion on Iran


The no-action motion on the draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran (document A/C.3/63/L.40) was rejected by a recorded vote of 81 against to 71 in favour, with 28 abstentions, as follows:


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu.


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Abstain:  Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Jordan, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United Republic of Tanzania.


Absent:  Bahrain, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Libya, Madagascar, Maldives, Morocco, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Turkey, Yemen.


ANNEX VII


Vote on Situation of Human Rights in Iran


The draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran (document A/C.3/63/L.40) was approved by a recorded vote of 70 in favour to 51 against, with 60 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu.


Against:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Abstain:  Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Ireland, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritius, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Swaziland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Zambia.


Absent:  Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Iraq, Madagascar, Maldives, Morocco, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Turkey.


ANNEX VIII


Vote on Operative Paragraph 13 of Convention on Elimination

of Racial Discrimination


Operative paragraph 13 of the draft resolution on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (document A/C.3/63/L.53/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 1 against, with 8 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  United States.


Abstain:  Fiji, Japan, Malaysia, Mozambique, Poland, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Gambia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu.


ANNEX IX


Vote on Convention on Racial Discrimination


The draft resolution on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (document A/C.3/63/L.53/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 178 in favour to none against, with no abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia.


Against:  None.


Abstain:  None.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Seychelles, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Zimbabwe.


* *** *


For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.