Acting on 20th Anniversary of Child Rights Convention, Third Committee Approves Annual Resolution on Rights of the Child by Consensus

20 November 2009
GA/SHC/3968

Acting on 20th Anniversary of Child Rights Convention, Third Committee Approves Annual Resolution on Rights of the Child by Consensus

20 November 2009
General Assembly
GA/SHC/3968
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fourth General Assembly

Third Committee

45th Meeting (AM)

Acting on 20th Anniversary of Child Rights Convention, Third Committee Approves

Annual Resolution on Rights of the Child by Consensus

 

Recommends Six More Texts to General Assembly; Youth Year Declaration,

Guidelines for Alternative Care of Children, Human Rights in Iran Among Issues

Profoundly concerned that the situation of children in many parts of the world remained critical, the Third Committee approved a draft resolution that explicitly recognized the right of young people to be heard in all matters affecting them today, on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Passed by consensus for the first time in eight years –- and with support from the United States, which had been the lone “no” in recent years-- that text was one of five draft resolutions approved without a vote this morning for recommendation to the General Assembly.  A draft on the human rights situation in Iran was also approved by a recorded vote of 74 in favour to 48 against, with 59 abstentions.  (For further details of the vote, please see Annex I.)

With a new “omnibus” format, the text on the rights of the child would have the Assembly call on States to adopt or continue to implement regulations and arrangements that provide for and encourage children’s participation in all settings on matters affecting them.  Among other things, Governments would be called on to designate, establish or strengthen relevant structures for children, to involve them in enacting the national action plans set out in “A world fit for children”, and to ensure the equal participation of girls, including adolescents.  

By other terms, the Assembly would call on States to prevent, criminalize, prosecute and punish all forms of the sale of children, including for child slavery, prostitution and pornography.  Calls would also be made to States to eliminate the demand that fosters these practices, to effectively address the needs of child victims and to take measures to prevent the distribution of child pornography over the Internet.

Speaking before the draft’s approval, the United States representative underlined his country’s commitment to protecting the rights of children domestically and around the world.  Among other things, the United States Government wanted to encourage other States to protect children from sexual exploitation and trafficking, as it continued to do in its legislation.

He said that while the United States had signed, but not ratified, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it was a party to its optional protocols and had been committed to upholding the Convention’s underlying spirit.  On the Convention’s 20th anniversary, his Government was pleased to state its commitment to continue strengthening already existing protections and to exploring new ways to ensuring that children’s rights were realized.

Earlier in the day, the Committee had passed two other texts centred on children by consensus.  One would have the Assembly welcome the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, which were contained in the annex to the text and were forwarded to it for consideration by the Human Rights Council, as a set of orientations to help inform policy and practice.  The other would proclaim the year commencing on 12 August 2010 as the “International Year of Youth:  Dialogue and Mutual Understanding”.  The Year would be highlighted by World Youth Conference under the auspices of the United Nations.  

During a discussion on the accepted practices and timeline for proclaiming an International Year, a few delegations said they had joined consensus despite concerns that such Years were to be established no later than one full year before their start.  Representatives of the Republic of Korea and Norway, who spoke on behalf of 23 other Governments, underscored the vital need to consult youth organizations in preparing and building support for the year.  The representative of Tunisia, who stressed that it was time to “turn the page” on the consultation process, said the active participation of youth in contributing to the international year’s success was highly anticipated.

By the terms of a text on Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which was also approved without a vote, the Assembly would condemn all human rights violations committed against persons engaged in promoting and defending human rights and fundamental freedoms around the world.  It would also call on States to respect, protect and ensure the rights to freedom of expression and association of human rights defenders and urge them to ensure that measures to combat terrorism and to preserve national security complied with international law and did not hinder the work and safety of individuals and groups promoting and defending human rights.

A text on implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly would have the Assembly recognize that the concept of social development affirmed at those meetings had been weakened in national and international policymaking. United Nations funds, programmes and agencies would be asked to mainstream full and productive employment and decent work for all in their activities and financial institutions would be invited to support such efforts.  Governments would also be urged to develop systems of social protection and to extend or broaden coverage, including to workers in the informal economy.

Before the Committee approved the draft on the human rights situation in Iran by recorded vote, the representative of that country said the draft text was an example of an “unhealthy and dangerous trend” in which the United Nations human rights mechanisms were abused for short-sighted political expediencies.  This created an atmosphere of confrontation and polarization that would only erode the Organization’s capacity for the meaningful promotion of human rights.  Moreover, once the draft was approved, he underlined that the voting pattern –- including “no” votes, abstentions and absences –- showed it did not receive support from 118 Member States, or a majority.

Speaking after the vote, several delegations said that, while they were concerned with reports of human rights abuses in Iran, particularly following its presidential elections in June, they had abstained because they considered the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review to be the appropriate mechanism to address those allegations.

To this end, the representative of Brazil encouraged Iran’s engagement with the Human Rights Council and other United Nations bodies responsible for promotion and protection of human rights.   Brazil particularly looked forward to a constructive debate on the human rights situation in Iran next year, when it would present its report under the Universal Periodic Review.

Also today, the Committee took note of the Overview of the World Social Situation 2009.

Speaking today in relation to various texts were the representatives of Canada, Syria (also on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Conference), Sudan (also on behalf of the “Group of 77” and China), Cuba, Solomon Islands, Libya, Venezuela, Algeria, Guatemala, Belarus, Bangladesh, Japan, Philippines, Sweden (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), United Kingdom, Australia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation.

The representative of Switzerland introduced a draft resolution on the Office of the President of the Human Rights Council.

The Committee will meet again at 10:00 a.m. Monday, 23 November, to continue its consideration of its remaining draft texts.

Background

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to hear the introduction of a draft resolution under the item “Report of the Human Rights Council”, on the Office of the President of the Human Rights Council (document A/C.3/64/L.63) and to take action under the same item on a draft regarding guidelines for the alternative care of children (document A/C.3/64/L.50).

Further action was expected on a draft under the item “human rights situations” on the situation of human rights in Iran (document A/C.3/64/L.37); under “social development” on implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly (document A/C.3/64/L.9/Rev.1) and on the proclamation of 2010 as International Year of Youth:  Dialogue and Mutual Understanding (document A/C.3/64/L.8/Rev.1); and under “rights of children” on rights of the child (document A/C.3/64/L.21/Rev.1).  Under the item “alternative approaches for improving the enjoyment of human rights”, the drafts slated for action were on the Declaration On The Right And Responsibility Of Individuals, Groups And Organs Of Society To Promote And Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights And Fundamental Freedoms (document A/C.3/64/L.38/Rev.1) and human rights and cultural diversity (document A/C.3/64/L.49).

Introduction of draft text

The representative of Switzerland introduced the draft resolution on the Office of the President of the Human Rights Council (document A/C.3/64/L.63), explaining that a Human Rights Council resolution adopted last year had recommended that the General Assembly establish an Office of the President for the Council.  All former presidents had recognized the need to have an office that functioned under their authority, complementing the services provided by the Secretariat.  Because no action had been triggered at the Fifth Committee last year, the Office was not established.  The draft she was tabling was meant to advance the process.  Various delegations agreed on the principle of providing the Council President with support, but also agreed that more time would be needed to discuss the matter.  While regretting that the Assembly could not establish the Office at this session, the draft would send a message on the need to address the issue in the context of the review of the Human Rights Council.  The draft reflected common ground and helped keep the issue on the agenda.  She looked forward to it being adopted by consensus on Monday.

Action on draft texts

As it moved to take action on the draft resolutions before it, the Committee turned first to a text on the situation of human rights in Iran (document A/C.3/64/L.37), which was introduced by the representative of Canada.

By that text, the Assembly would express its deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations in Iran relating to:  torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; the rate of executions carried out in the absence of internationally recognized safeguards; stoning as a method of execution, notwithstanding a circular from the head of the judiciary prohibiting stoning; and arrests, violent repression and sentencing of women exercising their right to peaceful assembly, as well as a campaign of intimidation against women’s human rights defenders, and continuing discrimination against women and girls.

It would also express its deep concern about increasing discrimination and other human rights violations against persons belonging to religious, ethnic, linguistic or other minorities, recognized or otherwise, including, in particular, attacks on Baha’is and their faith; the ongoing, systemic and serious restrictions of freedom of peaceful assembly and association and freedom of opinion and expression; increasing harassment, intimidation and persecution of political opponents and human rights defenders from all sectors of Iranian society; severe limitations and restrictions on freedom of religion and belief; and the persistent failure to uphold due process of law rights, as well as the violation of the rights of detainees, the systematic and arbitrary use of prolonged solitary confinement, and lack of timely access to legal representation.

By further terms, the Assembly would express particular concern at the Iranian Government’s response following the Presidential election of 12 June 2009 and the concurrent rise in human rights violations, including, among other things: harassment, intimidation and persecution -- including by arbitrary arrest, detention or disappearance -- of opposition members, journalists and other media representatives, bloggers, lawyers, clerics, human rights defenders, academics, students and others exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and association and freedom of opinion and expression, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries; and the use of violence and intimidation by Government-directed militias to forcibly disperse Iranian citizens engaged in the peaceful exercise of freedom of association. 

The Assembly would also express particular concern at:  interfering in the right to a fair trial by holding mass trials and denying defendants access to adequate legal representation, resulting in death sentences and lengthy jail sentences for some; the reported use of forced confessions and abuse of prisoners including rape and torture; the escalation in the rate of executions in the months following the elections; further restrictions on freedom of expression; and arbitrary arrest and detention of employees of foreign embassies in Tehran.

Among other provisions, the Assembly would call upon the Government to address the concerns highlighted in the Secretary-General’s report and the specific calls to action found in its previous resolutions.  The Government would be called on to respect fully its human rights obligations, in law and in practice:  to eliminate amputations, flogging and other forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; to abolish public executions and other executions carried out in the absence of respect for internationally recognized safeguards; and to abolish, pursuant to its obligations under article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, executions of persons who at the time of their offence were under the age of 18.

Further by the text, the Government would be called on:  to abolish the use of stoning as a method of execution; to eliminate all forms of discrimination and other human rights violations against women and girls; to eliminate all forms of discrimination and other human rights violations against persons belonging to religious, ethnic, linguistic or other minorities; to implement the 1996 report of the Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance, which recommended ways to emancipate the Baha’i community; and accord the seven Baha’i leaders held since 2008 the due process of law rights they are constitutionally guaranteed.

The Assembly would also call on Iran to end the harassment, intimidation and persecution of political opponents and human rights defenders and others imprisoned arbitrarily or on the basis of their political views, including those detained following the Presidential election of 12 June 2009.   Iran would also be called on to uphold due process of law rights, to end impunity for human rights violations, and to launch a credible, impartial and independent investigation into the allegations of post-Presidential election human rights violations.

By further provisions, the Assembly would call upon Iran to redress its inadequate record of cooperation with international human rights mechanisms.  It would strongly urge Iran to fully cooperate with the special mechanisms, including facilitating their visits to its territory, so that credible and independent investigations of all allegations of human rights violations, particularly those arising since 12 June 2009, can be conducted.  It would also invite the thematic special procedures mandate holders to pay particular attention to the human rights situation in the country with a view to investigating and reporting on the various human rights violations that have arisen since 12 June 2009.

Speaking ahead of action on this text, the representative of Iran said the Committee was about to take action on another highly politically charged and motivated text.  By submitting the draft text, Canada revealed its ill intention towards Iran for the seventh consecutive year and, by advancing its narrow political agenda, it persisted in abusing the august Third Committee, which should not allow this political game to continue.

He stressed that human rights reflected humanity’s highest aspiration and should not fall under the monopoly of a few States.  The universality of human rights not only entailed a universal theoretical basis, but also required a non-selective application and implementation.  The abuse of United Nations human rights mechanisms for short-sighted political expediencies created an atmosphere of confrontation and polarization that would only erode the Organization’s capacity for the meaningful promotion of human rights.  The draft text was an example of this unhealthy and dangerous trend.

He said that, unfortunately, the application of double standards and selectivity was no longer limited to the tabling of country-specific resolutions. It was a rule of a game.  Systematic violations of human rights in some parts of the world were simply overlooked, or acquiesced to by those claiming to champion those rights.  Just two weeks ago, a few countries, including Canada, had opposed and voted against the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.   Moreover, the sponsors of the draft did not have defendable human rights records themselves.  A number of credible international sources had disclosed many cases of non-compliance by Canada in this respect, including discriminatory policies and treatment of aborigines, migrants and minorities and police brutality, forced disappearances and murder of the aborigines and the systematic discrimination of indigenous women and girls.  Other co-sponsors also had poor or disastrous human rights records, including the Israeli regime, the very establishment and existence of which was intertwined with the worst forms of human rights violations, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, mass murder, crimes against humanity and terrorism.

Highlighting some of the false information inserted in the text by Canada, he said paragraph 2 enumerated flawed claims obtained from unreliable sources and were inconsistent with the Secretary-General’s report.  Paragraph 3 and its subparagraphs, which were devoted to the events of the presidential elections of 12 June, gave a totally different version of the story and also contrasted the Secretary-General’s report.  Indeed, that information was entirely misleading and incorrect.  The election, in which 85 per cent of those eligible had participated, was another display of the democratic nature and openness of the country’s political system.  That system’s laws and regulations further provided adequate remedies for addressing any complaint or concern regarding the election’s results.

On paragraph 5, he said the draft had surprisingly disregarded Iran’s sincere cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council special procedures mechanisms.  The draft called for Iran to submit its reports to the relevant treaty bodies, but it had already fulfilled those obligations.  It had also already designed and accomplished a comprehensive report under the Universal Periodic Review mechanism and submitted that report to the Human Rights Council.  The implicit request in paragraph 3(g) to grant a kind of diplomatic immunity to local employees of foreign embassies was neither legally sound, nor did it have any relevance to human rights issues.

Stressing that his country’s human rights policy had constantly emphasized the significance of interactive and cooperative approaches towards the fulfilment of its human rights obligations, he said this policy had resulted in intensified efforts to strengthen national capacities.  The Government had further embarked on creating and strengthening system-wide mechanisms for effective monitoring, to ensure the realization of human rights, democracy, development and representative, transparent and accountable governance.  Its commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights remained unshaken.

He said no Government, including his own, could claim perfection, but the old, worn-out policy of introducing a resolution on Iran was not only an unfair and unjustified action, but a disservice to the country’s policy of cooperation with the United Nations human rights mechanism.  He, thus, invited all delegations to vote against the draft.

He then requested a recorded vote on the text.

Offering a general statement, the representative of Syria, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), expressed the group’s opposition to the practice of submitting country-specific resolutions on human rights situations, which selectively targeted developing and Islamic countries for political reasons.  It reaffirmed that that practice transformed the work on human rights into a political exercise, and did not advance the cause.  The OIC was against any initiative that might lead to the use of human rights as means of exerting political pressure on any Member State.  It believed that country-specific resolutions on human rights situations would inevitably politicize the work of human rights bodies instead of advancing the promotion of human rights.  The situation of human rights in Iran did not warrant issuing a country-specific resolution, since it had always expressed a readiness for dialogue and cooperation with all countries.  The OIC regretted that, despite Iran’s readiness to do so and despite positive developments in Iran, a draft was submitted to the Third Committee against it, in a selective manner.  It urged all States to oppose the draft.

Sudan’s representative aligned himself with the statement by the representative of Syria.  As chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, he had made a statement at yesterday’s meeting in reference to country-specific drafts.  It was thus for the third time that he repeated his position on the adoption of such resolutions, which were selective.  The 2005 World Summit had spoken on the selective human rights approach, reaffirming the Human Rights Council as the competent body to take up human rights issues.  The Sudan was concerned with the way the issue of human rights situations was being brought to the Third Committee.  Human rights could only be promoted if everyone respected the need to avoid politicization, which complicated matters and made it impossible to move forward.

He agreed on the need to allow the Human Rights Council to play out its full role in complete neutrality, impartiality and without selectivity.  He agreed with the need to work with the countries in question so that a positive environment for human rights could be developed.  Politicization would only increase tension and extreme positions on all sides, and States must not pursue that path.

As the Committee prepared to move to a vote, the representative of Cuba stated her explanation before the vote, saying that her country’s traditional position on resolutions directed selectively against countries of the South was that they had a tendency to point out issues that had nothing to do with human rights.  The application of double standards in considering human rights issues had discredited the body that came before the Human Rights Council.  Cuba supported the principles of non-selectivity, impartiality and neutrality as the way to ensure the protection of human rights.  The establishment of the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review mechanism made it possible to consider situations in human rights in all countries on an equal footing, on the basis of constructive dialogue.  The draft was clearly politically motivated and its intention was to put pressure on Iran for political purposes.  She would vote against the draft.

Also in explanation of vote, the representative of the Solomon Islands said his Government stood by the reasons behind the creation of the Human Rights Council and felt strongly that the Council was the most appropriate institution to deal with human rights situations.  He condemned all human rights abuses and would like to see human rights universally applied, and for the Universal Periodic Review mechanism to be applied all countries, big or small.  Country-specific resolutions were highly divisive and undermined respect for the Human Rights Council.  Human rights must be given the importance it deserved, which required States to move away from the practice of naming and shaming towards genuine cooperation and dialogue.  He rejected the practice of politicization, selectivity and double standards.  He asked States to act to preserve the impartiality of the reformed Human Rights Council and to preserve human rights as a pillar of global cooperation.  As it had done in the past, his Government would abstain from the vote.

The representative of Syria reaffirmed his country’s position of principle based on rejection of any interference in Iran’s internal affairs, using human rights as a pretext.  The United Nations Charter clearly stipulated equal sovereignty among all Member States.  It also called for placing an increased value on human rights and non-interference in the internal affairs of States for political motives.  Syria trusted that understanding and dialogue, based on national sovereignty, genuine dialogue and non-selectivity, would prevail.  That would bring States closer together and promote human rights.  It would ensure those rights, while also placing emphasis on national and regional specificities.

He said the human rights question should be addressed in the Human Rights Council, which was the appropriate forum, not the Third Committee.  Iran’s delegate had said his country had recently submitted its periodic report to that Council, as part of the Universal Periodic Review.  That mechanism was the appropriate tool for addressing the human rights situation.  Addressing that situation through country-specific resolutions in this Committee had a negative impact on human rights conventions, among other human rights mechanisms.  This was particularly true when Israel was clearly among the co-sponsors of the current resolution, just a few weeks after the Assembly’s adoption of the Goldstone Report, which dealt with serious human rights violations by that country in Gaza.

He went on to underline that human rights violations were very serous and, thus, required understanding and dialogue among States, rather than slander by one State against another, which had nothing to do with human rights.  He endorsed the position of principle expressed by States and encouraged other States to oppose the submission of these kinds of political drafts, which had nothing to do with the issues at hand.  This was a duplicitous way of dealing with human rights in international fora.

Libya’s representative, aligning his statement with remarks on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, voiced his delegation’s regret at the insistence of some States of tabling drafts of a political nature that targeted certain States, on the pretext of the human rights violations.   Libya expressed opposition to those countries that used the Third Committee to advance political goals.  This introduced duplicity into the Committee’s work, as well as of the Human Rights Council.  Following the position of the non-aligned States, which refused to infringe on the sovereignty of other countries, Libya would vote against the draft resolution.  But, this vote should not be interpreted as support for human rights violations.

The representative of Venezuela reiterated its firm opposition to the practice of some States of tabling country-specific resolutions, using as their reason the human rights situation in those targeted States.  This practice was illegitimate and undesirable, and it had no genuine interest in its stated purposes.  The co-sponsors had committed their own human rights violations, yet no texts were submitted against them.  This was why the Human Rights Council had set up the Universal Periodic Review.   Venezuela, therefore, believed that any measure adopted in the United Nations should aim to protect and promote human rights using the mechanism of genuine dialogue and the spirit of cooperation.  She urged all delegations to vote against the text.  Political pressure and the use of human rights in applying it would not be allowed.

The Committee then approved the text by 74 in favour to 48 against, with 59 abstentions. (For further details of the vote, please see Annex I.)

Speaking in explanation of vote after action, the representative of Brazil said his country had abstained from the vote.  His country encouraged Iran’s engagement with the Human Rights Council and other United Nations bodies responsible for promotion and protection of human rights.  As the main body for dealing with human rights issues, the Council should create an enabling environment for fostering constructive dialogue and cooperation worldwide on human rights.  He noted with concern certain aspects of human rights in Iran, as pointed out in the Secretary-General’s report, including on the right of minorities, particularly the Baha’i.  Regarding social, economic and cultural rights, more should be done to advance the rights of women, to preserve freedom of expression, to safeguard students, local embassy personnel and others from persecution.  He looked forward to a constructive debate on the human rights situation in Iran next year, when it presents its report under the Universal Periodic Review.

The representative of Algeria said he had voted against the draft, because his country believed that such resolutions were selective and an example of the politicization of human rights.  He believed the Universal Periodic Review mechanism approved by the Third Committee as part of the institutional building package of the Human Rights Council was suitable for considering the human rights situation in all countries, without exception.  It took a cooperative approach, based on sincere dialogue.  States must work to establish the Universal Periodic Review as the main way for improving States’ performance in promoting and protecting human rights.

Guatemala’s representative said one of the tenets of its foreign policy was respect for human rights, particularly the observance of international human rights instruments.  It was concerned by certain “affirmations” in the Secretary-General’s report on Iran, particularly paragraph 14 which discussed negative events that had taken place since June 2008 in the area of civil and political rights.  Her Government had taken note of reports from Iranian authorities, and noted also that it would be subject to Universal Periodic Review next year, and had the understanding that the report would be submitted to Human Rights Council at that body’s seventh session next year.  In light of that, she had abstained from the vote, and would await the results of the Universal Periodic Review.

The representative of Belarus said that her statement referred to all three country-specific resolutions, taken up today and yesterday.  Her country had voted against them.  It opposed country-specific resolutions, as they undermined the sense of objectivity needed to consider human rights issues.  It was clear that any country could become subject to a country-specific resolution.  Her country noted that an effective mechanism for preserving human rights in all countries had been created: the Universal Periodic Review.  It allowed for an analysis of human rights on the basis of constructive and mutually respectful dialogue, helping strengthen national institutions dealing with human rights.  As a country that had been subject to the prejudice and selectivity of others, Belarus believed that country-specific resolutions should be rejected.  They created barriers between parties interested in the pursuit of human rights.  Human rights should be a uniting factor, but, for now, they only continued to divide.

The representative of Bangladesh expressed concern about reports of the human rights deterioration in that country, particularly after the presidential elections in June, and encouraged Iran to fulfil its human rights obligations.  His country, however, was not convinced that country-specific resolutions were appropriate.  Bangladesh had, thus, voted against the text.

Japan’s delegate said his country had voted for the resolution in view of the fact that the human rights situation in Iran could be improved.  In this regard, he pointed to the restrictions against media following June’s presidential elections, as well as restrictions on the local staff of foreign embassies. However, Japan also recognized that the Government of Iran had made positive steps in the realm of human rights.  Among other things, it had proposed several collaborations towards improvements in human rights.  He commended the Iranian Government for its cooperative approach and for moving forward with these initiatives.  Japan also welcomed Iran’s recent ratification of the Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities.  For these reasons, Japan had voted for the resolution without becoming a co-sponsor this year. 

The representative of the Philippines said his country believed that promoting a global culture of human rights could be more effective if it took an approach that combined moral suasion, dialogue and offers of assistance.  Recalling that the Non-Aligned Movement had expressed deep concern over the practice of selective adoption of country-specific resolutions in the Third Committee, which breached the issues of non-selectivity, among other important principles, he said the Assembly should review the real impact and utility of these resolutions.  How had they allowed the Governments concerned to improve their human rights records?  Through the Human Rights Council, which met year-round and had adopted the Universal Periodic Review, the Assembly had shown its commitment to finding real ways to promote human rights.  This position had prompted the Philippines to abstain from all three country-specific resolutions.

The SECRETARY said that he noted that the representative of the Philippines had made a general statement during the portion of the meeting devoted to explanation of vote after the vote.

The representative of the Philippines said it was a statement of position after the vote.

The SECRETARY said that he had listened carefully to the statement and it seemed to be about all three statements.

The representative of the Philippines said that his country insisted his statement was an explanation of vote after the vote.  He had listened to the representative of Belarus, who had said the same thing, so he did not understand the Secretary.

Iran’s representative thanked those delegations that had voted against L.37.  He also recognized the States that had not supported the resolution by being absent or by abstaining from the vote.  The reality was that 118 Member States did not support the resolution.  The high number of votes against and in abstention demonstrated that the majority of Member States continued to oppose the resolution put forward by Canada and its allies.  This pattern of voting clearly indicated that appropriate measures should be taken to prevent countries like Canada from abusing the United Nations.  This should be taken into account by the Secretary-General and Member States in the future.

The Committee then turned to a draft on implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly (document A/C.3/64/L.9/Rev.1), introduced by the representative of Sudan.

The draft would have the Assembly recognize that the concept of social development affirmed by the World Summit for Social Development and the twenty‑fourth special session of the General Assembly had been weakened in national and international policymaking and that, while poverty eradication was central to development policy and discourse, further attention should be given to other commitments agreed to at the Summit, in particular those concerning employment and social integration, which suffered from the general disconnect between economic and social policymaking.

By further terms, the Assembly would stress the critical nature of an enabling environment for achieving equity and social development and that, while economic growth was essential, entrenched inequality and marginalization were an obstacle to the broad-based and sustained growth required for sustainable, inclusive, people-centred development.  It would also stress that stable global financial systems and corporate social responsibility, among other things, were essential for creating an enabling international environment.

Among other things, the draft would have the Assembly request United Nations funds, programmes and agencies to mainstream the goals of full and productive employment and decent work for all in their activities, and invite financial institutions to support such efforts.  Governments would be urged to develop systems of social protection and -- recognizing the need for social protection systems to provide social security and support labour-market participation -- to extend or broaden coverage, including to workers in the informal economy.  It would invite the International Labour Organization to strengthen its social protection strategies, including assistance to countries in building social protection floors and policies on extending social security coverage.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft text.

Speaking after its approval, the representative of the United States said he had been pleased to join the consensus, but regretted that the draft had not been more balanced regarding the impact of internal and external factors on development.  The primary responsibility for development rested with Governments.  External factors, such as crises or oil shocks, could well have an effect on development, but in the long run, domestic policies mattered more, because it was through domestic policies that people were provided the opportunity to address their needs.  The provision of such opportunities, in turn, had an impact on sustainable development.  He expressed hope that, next year, any drafts on the issue would deal with those issues in a more balanced manner.

The Committee then took up the draft on the Proclamation of 2010 as International Year of Youth:  Dialogue and Mutual Understanding (document A/C.3/64/L.8/Rev.1), introduced by the representative of Sudan, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” and China.

The draft would have the Assembly proclaim the year commencing on 12 August 2010 as the International Year of Youth:  Dialogue and Mutual Understanding, and to organize a World Youth Conference under the auspices of the United Nations as the highlight of the Year.  The President of the General Assembly would be invited to conduct open-ended informal consultations with Member States with the view to determining Conference modalities, which would be funded by voluntary contributions.

The Secretary, MONCEF KHANE, reiterated his understanding that conferences arising from adoption of the resolution would be funded through voluntary contributions and thus would not give rise to any budget implications.

Before the Committee moved to take action on the text, the representative of the Republic of Korea asked for clarification from the Secretariat on the existence of guidelines on the proclamation of international years.  If so, what were the main elements of those guidelines?  And was the draft resolution under consideration in conformity with those guidelines?  If not, did the Committee have the competence to disregard the guidelines adopted by the General Assembly?

In response, Mr. KHANE said he was not in a position to give an exhaustive response to a question that was quite wide in scope.  In short, he affirmed the existence of such guidelines, as adopted by the Economic and Social Council and endorsed by the General Assembly.  They were “reiterated” by the Assembly in 1999.  The adoption of those guidelines by the Assembly was contained in decision 35/424.  The guidelines were fairly long.  He quoted a section of the guidelines which, if he understood the representative of the Republic of Korea correctly, was relevant to the case today:  “every effort should be made to ensure an interval of at least two years between two international years and a longer interval between years concerning similar subjects.  A final decision on a proposal should be taken by the General Assembly not earlier than one full year after the introduction of the proposal in order to take into account the views expressed by all Member States and allow a thorough assessment of the proposal by the competent organs.”

As such, he said, the draft before the Committee would appear to be in conformity with those guidelines -- the language in the paragraphs he had just read used the verb “should” and not “shall”.  But, while adoption of the draft by the Committee would not be a violation of the guidelines, it would be fair to say that it would not heed the spirit of the guidelines.  He pointed out a precedent in which a Year was proclaimed in a short time:  the International Year of Physics was decided on 2004, less than six months before the entry into force of the International Year in 2005.

The representative of Tunisia further added that that, during informal consultations, he had provided a similar explanation.  The guidelines stated that “every effort should be made” to work within a two-year time frame, but the ultimate course of action depended on the will of States.  Further, the guidelines described what States should do “in general terms”, and yet, as the Secretariat had just mentioned, there was a situation where a Year was proclaimed only six months before it was celebrated.  In addition to that example, he knew of 7 or 8 other cases:  the International Year of Mobilization for Sanctions Against South Africa was proclaimed in 1981 and began in 1982; the International Year of Sport and the Olympic Ideal was proclaimed in 1983 and celebrated in 1984;   the International Year of the Victims of the Second World War, proclaimed in 1994 and celebrated in 1995; and International Year for Cultural Heritage proclaimed in 2001 and celebrated in 2002.  Most recently, the International Year on Human Rights Learning was proclaimed in 2008 and celebrated the following year.  When adopting the guidelines, the Assembly often left a space open to accommodate the will of States.  He re-stated his belief that the resolution was in conformity with the guidelines.

The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.

The representative of the Republic of Korea said her country attached great importance to the participation of youth, and the dissemination of the ideals of peace, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the dedication to peace and development among youth.  It had sent youth delegations to the Commission on Social Development and the General Assembly, and had actively implemented the World Programme of Action for Youth.  It strongly supported United Nations efforts to address the challenges that young people faced and to maximize the potential of youth.  Since it was genuinely interested in substantive progress that could be achieved by the International Year, it had proposed the proclamation of 2012 instead of 2010.  That suggestion took account of the need for time to prepare for the Year, including defining the basic objectives and major activities before the start of the Year.  Also, the engagement of youth and youth organizations was vital to build support, and substantive consultations with the United Nations Secretariat and agencies were needed.

It was regrettable that its proposal of 2012 as the International Year was not properly considered, he said.  But, despite that, his Government would join the consensus based on its strong commitment to youth and in support for the basic spirit of the resolution.  It was very important to make the World Youth Conference mentioned in the draft a genuine success, requiring careful consideration of its timing, venue and topics.  The explanation given by the draft’s main sponsors was that the Conference was not necessarily supposed to be held before the end of the International Year.  He would like to keep that explanation on the record.

The representative of Norway, speaking also on behalf of Andorra, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Iceland, Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Liechtenstein, United States, Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland, said the promotion of youth and the active promotion of youth in the processes concerning them were longstanding priorities for the Governments on whose behalf he spoke. These countries had joined consensus, but wished to call the Committee’s attention to the Assembly’s adoption of resolution 61/185 on 20 December 2006, which recalled the guidelines on international years contained in 35/424.  Those guidelines stipulated that a final decision on proposals for international years should be taken not later than one full year before its beginning, so that a thorough assessment of the proposal could be made.  These criteria had not been observed in the draft text just adopted.  Moreover, the lack of consultation with youth organizations ran counter to the draft’s stated aim of dialogue.  Moving forward, these Governments trusted that the Assembly would be mindful of the need to consult youth organizations in preparing for the year.

The representative of Tunisia said his delegation was grateful to Sudan for facilitating negotiations on the text.  Singapore’s contribution was also appreciated, as were those of the co-sponsors.  This draft was the product of a lengthy process through which the Group of 77 and China took into account proposals from their partners.  They regretted that some delegations proceeded to raise questions related to procedure and had had to make an explanation of position on this issue, particularly bearing in mind that the Group of 77 and China had been flexible.

He went on to say that today’s text showed the willingness of all States to give this international year a noble goal and aim to foster more awareness among youth of the need for their participation in issues concerning them.  It was now time to turn the page on the consultations and to look forward with hope that the noble goals set for this international year could be met.  He urged all stakeholders to engage in this effort to place youth at the centre of these goals. The active participation of youth in contributing to the international year’s success was highly anticipated.

In accordance with Assembly decision 55/488, the Committee then took note of the Overview of the World Social Situation 2009, which is contained in document A/64/158 and Corr.1.

The Committee next turned to a draft text on Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children (document A/C.3/64/L.50), which was introduced by the representative of Brazil.

By that text, the Assembly would welcome the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, which were contained in the annex to the text, as a set of orientations to help inform policy and practice.  It would further encourage States to take the Guidelines into account and to bring them to the attention of the relevant executive, legislative and judiciary bodies of government, human rights defenders and lawyers, the media and the public in general.  The Secretary-General would be requested to disseminate them, within existing resources, in all official United Nations languages, including by transmitting them to all Member States, regional commissions and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

In his introduction of the text, the representative of Brazil made an oral amendment to the text to add the words “to help inform” in the phrase in the first operative paragraph that then read:  “a set of orientations to help inform policy and practice”

The representative of Sweden, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the group saw the 20th anniversary as an important catalyst for the implementation of the Convention, and welcomed the stated intention of the draft.  It was committed to the full realization of rights of the child and its members hoped that the guidelines would help inform policy and practice for States and other actors.  She noted that operative paragraph 1 used the word “welcome” and not “adopt”, but even without a formal adoption, the group held the hope that welcoming the guidelines would lead to a real improvement in the lives of children living under alternative care.

The representative of United Kingdom, aligning himself with the statement by the European Union, reiterated -- on the event of the Convention’s 20th anniversary -- his country’s commitment to advancing the rights of children throughout the world.  His Government supported the intended purpose of the Guidelines, noting that they were non-binding and helped to inform States on different forms of care for children.  He understood that the Assembly was not adopting those guidelines, but still wished to make clear that there were certain provisions on which the United Kingdom had outstanding concerns:  regarding the paragraph on education during pregnancy, he stressed that no State could guarantee non-interruption of studies during pregnancy.  Also, it was not appropriate to coerce teen parents to continue their studies if they did not wish it.

On the paragraph regarding care givers deprived of liberty, he explained that the United Kingdom has a presumption of bail, in all cases.  Also, when passing sentence, the offender’s situation was taken into account.  However, in some cases custodial sentence must be imposed because the offence was so serious, and because it was not appropriate for the child to remain with the offender.  On the question of principal caregivers, the United Kingdom did not believe it was acceptable practice to accord quasi-parental rights without inquiry into the status or relations with the child and without court determination.  Further, children were not the only people with rights; the rights of adults must also be respected.  The wording on data protection did not reflect United Kingdom or European Union data protection law.  The United Kingdom recognized record sharing needed to respect the rights of privacy, and that the rights of adults must not be made vulnerable in allowing for the rights of the child.  With those comments, his Government was able to lend its support to the text.

The representative of the United States said his country was committed to protecting the well-being of children worldwide.  A healthy, safe environment should be created for all children, allowing them to thrive and grow.  He thanked Brazil and the draft resolution’s other co-sponsors.  The United States welcomed the spirit of the guidelines, which offered useful guidance for children without parental care.  However, the United States remained concerned about the broad scope of these guidelines, and in this respect he underscored that their purpose and nature were to set out desirable orientations for policy and practice.  The understanding of the United States was that these guidelines were not obligatory or binding, but could be used to guide the development of policy for children without parental care.

Australia’s delegate said her country agreed in principle with these guidelines.  It noted that they were broadly representative of the obligations set forth in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Australia’s arrangements for out-of-home care were widely in line with these guidelines.  The Government had recently adopted a national framework for protecting Australia’s children.  It was also leading a process to develop a new set of standards to reflect best practices and to promote care.  But, it noted that neither the guidance on informal care nor those guidelines that advocated a particular approach, were applicable under Australia’s current policy or across its local governments.

The representative of Canada said her country was pleased to join consensus on the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  She welcomed the leadership of Brazil in facilitating this text and also acknowledged the efforts of those contributing to the development of the guidelines, including, among others, UNICEF and the Committee on the Rights of the Child.  It was Canada’s understanding that the guidelines would serve as practical tools to be used voluntarily and that they were not intended to be obligatory and binding.  It was on this basis that Canada had joined consensus on the resolution.

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

The Committee next turned to a four-part draft resolution on the rights of the child (document A/C.3/64/L.21/Rev.1), which was introduced by the representative of Sweden, on behalf of the European Union and all other co-sponsors.

By Part I, on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocols thereto, the Assembly would commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which provided a foundation for the Convention.  It would also urge States that have not yet done so to become parties to the Convention and the Optional Protocols thereto as a matter of priority and to implement them fully.

By Part II, on promotion and protection of the rights of the child and non-discrimination against children, the Assembly would urge all States parties to intensify their efforts to comply with their obligations under the Convention to protect children in matters of registration, family relations and adoption or other forms of alternative care.  Recognizing the threat to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals posed by the global financial and economic crisis, which is connected to multiple, interrelated global crises and challenges, it would call on States to address, in their response to the crisis, any impact on the full enjoyment of the rights of children.

Among other provisions, the Assembly would call on all States to respect and protect the rights of children alleged to have infringed or recognized as having infringed penal law as well as children of persons alleged to have infringed or recognized as having infringed penal law.  It would call on them to prevent, criminalize, prosecute and punish all forms of the sale of children, including for the purposes of the transfer of their organs for profit, child slavery, commercial sexual exploitation of children, child prostitution and child pornography.  States would be called on to eliminate the demand that fosters these practices and to address the needs of victims effectively.

Further by this part of the text, States would be called on to enact and enforce necessary legislative or other measures to prevent the distribution over the Internet of child pornography.  They would also be called on to translate into concrete action their commitment to the progressive and effective elimination of child labour that is hazardous or that interfered with the child’s education or harmed the child’s development.  They would further be asked to eliminate immediately the worst forms of child labour.

By Part III, on the right of the child to express his or her views freely in all matters affecting him or her, the Assembly would recognize that the child who is capable of forming his or her own views should be assured the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting him or her, with the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with his or her age and maturity.

According to “the right to be heard”, it would call on States to assure that children are given the opportunity to be heard on all matters affecting them, without discrimination by adopting and/or continuing to implement regulations and arrangements that provide for and encourage their participation.  Among other things, States are called on to designate, establish or strengthen relevant Governmental structures for children, where appropriate; involve children, as appropriate, in the planning, design, implementation and evaluation of the national plans of action set out in “A world fit for children” that relate to the rights of the child; provide support to children and adolescents to enable them to form and register their own associations and other child- and adolescent-led initiatives; ensure the equal participation of girls, including adolescents; and take all appropriate measures to promote the active involvement of parents, professionals and relevant authorities in the creation of opportunities for children to exercise their rights to be heard within their everyday activities.

By Part IV, on follow-up, the Assembly would, among other things, ask the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on matters relating to children, as well as the Special Rapporteurs on such matters, to submit reports to it and the Human Rights Council.

The representative of United States said his country was committed to protecting the rights of children domestically and around the world.  His Government would like to encourage other States to protect children from sexual exploitation and trafficking, as it continued to do through various legislative Acts.  It had taken the initiative to combat sexual exploitation in the form of child pornography and child labour.  There were federal, state and local programmes to protect child rights regarding access to health care, foster care and education.  The Child Health Insurance Programme Reauthorization Act provided substantial resources to states to extend coverage to 11 million children, 4 million of which were previously uninsured. 

Continuing, he noted that the resolution highlighted the ability of children to express their views directly or through representatives, and to participate in decision-making that affected their lives.  In the United States, child advocates and ombudspersons provided a vehicle through which children could express their views on child custody, foster care and juvenile justice.  The draft drew attention to the equal participation of girls, and indeed, most children that did not attend primary school were girls.  Girls were also more vulnerable to trafficking and sexual violence.  The United States viewed the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as a key partner in global efforts to protect children, was a strong supporter of its initiatives and provided a significant amount of voluntary contributions to it each year.  Aside from UNICEF, the United States worked through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to promote the protection of children. 

He stressed that support for the draft did not imply that States must become party to instruments to which they were not party.  Its support for the text was not a change in its position regarding any treaties or body of customary law.  But, it looked forward to working with States referred to in the draft’s preambular paragraph 2 and operative paragraph 2.  While the United States had signed, but not ratified, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it was a party to its optional protocols.  On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Convention, the United States was pleased to state its commitment to continue strengthening already existing protections and to explore new ways to make sure children’s rights were realized.  It was committed to upholding the underlying spirit of the Convention in the last 20 years, and looked forwards to building on progress in the next 20.

To a round of applause, that draft resolution was approved by the Committee without a vote.

Making an explanation of position after action, the representative of Syria said her delegation was pleased with the adoption of the draft resolution of the rights of the child, which was adopted by the Committee by consensus for the first time.  Syria understood that the section on children in armed conflict applied to children suffering under colonial domination and foreign occupation.  Her delegation reserved the right to interpret certain sections in accordance with its national legislation and requested that this be reflected in the meeting’s records.

Next, the Committee took up the draft on the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (document A/C.3/64/L.38/Rev.1), which the representative of Norway introduced.

The CHAIR informed the Committee that this text contained no programme budget implications.

The draft would have the Assembly welcome the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and her contribution to the effective promotion of the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Gravely concerned by the considerable number of communications received by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, together with reports submitted by some of the special procedure mechanisms, the Assembly would, through the resolution, condemn all human rights violations committed against persons engaged in promoting and defending human rights and fundamental freedoms around the world.  The Assembly would urge States to take all appropriate action, consistent with the Declaration and all other relevant human rights instruments, to prevent and eliminate such human rights violations.

The draft would call on States to respect, protect and ensure the rights to freedom of expression and association of human rights defenders.  In that regard, States would be called on to ensure that procedures governing registration of civil society organizations were transparent, non-discriminatory, expeditious, inexpensive, allowed for the possibility to appeal and avoided requiring re-registration, in accordance with national legislation, and that those procedures conformed to international human rights law.  They would be urged to ensure that measures to combat terrorism and preserve national security were in compliance with international law, particularly international human rights law, and such measures did not hinder the work and safety of individuals, groups and organs of society engaged in promoting and defending human rights.

By further terms, the Assembly would urge States to address the question of impunity for attacks, threats and acts of intimidation, including cases of gender-based violence, against human rights defenders and their relatives.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea requested a recorded vote on the draft text.

The SECRETARY apologized that the voting technician had left the room. Perhaps the Committee should take a short suspension. 

Norway’s representative requested a suspension of the meeting in accordance with the notice of the Secretary.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said his delegation would like to make its position clear.  If a vote was taken, his delegation would abstain.  Asked for further clarification from the Chair, he said he meant that he withdrew his request for a vote and that if the Committee had voted, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would have abstained.

Acting then without a vote, the Committee approved the draft text.

The representative of Syria said her Government had joined the consensus, but regretted the fact that the facilitator and co-sponsors did not include the concerns of those who defended human rights in occupied territories, who were also exposed to serious dangers and human rights violations.  All paragraphs in the resolution should apply to defenders of human rights in occupied territories.  In addition, she called on States not to interfere in the internal affairs of other States and not to be selective in their treatment of other countries.  States should not impose rights and responsibilities selectively.  She noted that paragraph 20 of the Declaration reaffirmed the principle of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of States.

The representative of the Russian Federation said her Government attached great importance to the work of human rights defenders for their contribution to society, which was not in question.  While she praised the facilitator for the transparent approach taken during consultations, she stressed the unwillingness of co-sponsors to include a reference, in the draft, of the code of conduct for special procedures.  That decision was perplexing and a cause for regret.  She hoped that the decision did not indicate that they were re-appraising their position on the code of conduct, which was approved by the Human Rights Council and General Assembly.  She viewed the Declaration as pertaining to individuals and civil society organizations dealing with human rights, and references to all previous resolutions on the subject as confirmation of the views reached in previous years regarding its contents.  So as not to oppose the consensus, she said her Government had not called the draft into question.  But, it would like their position to be noted.  In the future, it was hoped that co-sponsors would be more balanced and not interpret, arbitrarily, the thrust of the Declaration or impose their opinion of it on others.

The representative of the Venezuela said her country was grateful to Norway for its efforts in seeking consensus on this resolution.  Venezuela had joined consensus, but it did not think the text took a balanced approach.  A resolution on this Declaration should include the main concerns of States with regard to violations of those who defend human rights in any circumstances.  This notwithstanding, there had been serious opposition among the co-sponsors to mentioning violations of the rights of those defenders under foreign occupation, or in situations where the constitutional order of a country had been disrupted. In those cases, the rights of human rights defenders did not count.

Her delegation believed this draft resolution should refer in greater detail to the rights and responsibilities of civil society, yet there was a refusal among the co-sponsors to recognize the rights and responsibilities of such groups. Venezuela placed on record the need for all groups defending human rights to conduct their work without any political bias or link.  In many countries, the work of such groups was seen to promote political ends, including political instability and even in planning State coups.  These groups must comply with their rights and responsibilities within the national context and under its regulations. Her delegation would continue to insist on the inclusion of these issues in this text.  It would reject the lack of a comprehensive approach in the draft to these rights.  Finally, Venezuela wished to be placed on record that it would interpret the draft according to its national legislation.

Cuba’s representative said her delegation regretted the lack of reference in the text to resolution 5/2 of the Human Rights Council, which was adopted by the General Assembly and which addressed the code of conduct of the special procedures mandate holders.  The important appeal of a broad number of countries of the South on this resolution should have been borne in mind.

ANNEX

Vote on Iran

The draft resolution on the human rights situation in Iran (document A/C.3/64/L.37) was approved by a recorded vote of 74 in favour to 48 against, with 59 abstentions, as follows:

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

Against:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Abstain:  Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Paraguay, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Suriname, Swaziland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Zambia.

Absent:  Bahrain, Chad, Djibouti, Dominica, Gabon, Iraq, Maldives, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Turkey.

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