UN General Assembly indeed defers UN focal point on human rights defenders

January 8, 2014

On 4 December 2013 I reported on the setback in the establishment of a focal point against reprisals in the United Nations. The disappointing vote in the Third Committee could theoretically have been reversed by the General Assembly but that miracle did not happen. On 19 December the General Assembly also put on hold a Human Rights Council initiative to strengthen the protection of human rights defenders from attacks and reprisals. A group of African States, together with China, Cuba, and Russia, successfully put forward a resolution to defer the appointment of a senior UN official tasked with coordinating the protection of human rights defenders. This is despite the Human Rights Council overwhelmingly passing a resolution in September calling on the UN Secretary-General to appoint ‘a United Nations-wide senior focal point’ to combat reprisals and intimidation.‘  The vote had a narrow margin of only three votes: 83 – 80.

[In the face of an African Group position, only two African States had the courage to abstain from the vote: Chad and Morocco.]

via UN General Assembly turns its back on human rights defenders | ISHR.

One Response to “UN General Assembly indeed defers UN focal point on human rights defenders”


  1. […] (2) Almost all the African countries (except Chad and Morocco) supported the UN Resolution in the General Assembly last year that in fact blocked the creation of a focal point against reprisals in the United Nations. Courageous little Botswana may well have led a large group of countries with a statement in March 2014 at the Human Rights Council [http://www.ishr.ch/news/human-rights-council-has-duty-strengthen-response-reprisals] which favors such a UN-wide focal point, but how the African group will vote next time is far from clear. See more on: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/un-general-assembly-indeed-defers-un-focal-point-on-human-ri… […]


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