50th Human Rights Council Reports

Report on Opening Meetings


June 13th, 2022: Opening Ceremony of the 50th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council

All sources used to draft the report can be found here. The report was drafted by Samantha Khoo on June 15th, 2022.

Composition of the HRC

Main Report

From the 13th of June to the 8th of July 2022, The Human Rights Council is holding its 50th session in Geneva. As the most important event aiming to assess Human Rights issues worldwide and promote dialogue between nations, it is being conducted in a hybrid form due to the still ongoing Covid-19 pandemic worldwide. During the Opening Session, we had the chance to hear from main actors in the field of Human Rights and Development, who reiterated the importance of Sustainable Development, International Dialogue and Human Rights to achieve Peace.

The opening ceremony of the 50th session of the Human Rights Council begins with the President of the Human Rights Council, Federico Villegas, welcoming the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, and all delegations and stakeholders present and online. The President notes that in the 50th session, a historical perspective of their work at the Human Rights Council is needed and that over the next four weeks, the 50th session should be used to reflect on why and for who each of these representatives make the Human Rights Council machinery work. To aid the reflection, the President noted that since the council's first sitting, there have been 2007 formal meetings, 34 special sessions, 7 urgent debates, 932 interactive dialogues, 232 panel discussions, 1372 resolutions, 18 thematic special procedures have been carried out, 8 country's special procedures have been created and there have been 35 investigation procedures. He states that all representatives must always be open to constructive criticism. This is so that the Human Rights Council can continue to improve so that the norms of future generations are better and more protected and give a voice to the victims of serious human rights violations around the world.

The President also stated that after the presentation of the High Commissioner's annual report and the interactive dialogue, Mr Don Alfonso Nsue Mokuy (3rd Deputy Prime Minister and the person in charge of human rights in Equatorial Guinea), Mr Mohammad Mahfud Mahmodin (coordinating minister for political and security affairs for the Republic of Indonesia) and Mr Gamini Lakshman Peiris (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka) would address the council. The President then goes on to speak about the logistics of how the Human Rights Council will be carried out, stating that it will be similar to procedures carried out during the 49th Session of the Human Rights Council and that delegations can present

their statements either live at Palais de Nations or on Zoom. He then goes on to address other procedural and organisational measures. He stated that the United Nations of Geneva (UNOG) has given them 3 lunchtime meetings and a high-level event (on the 15th of June from 12.30 pm-2.30 pm) to mark the 50th sitting of the council.

The President also stated that the council also aims to adopt outcomes on Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR) by the end of the 50th sitting of the council. He speaks particularly about Myanmar's UPR given the current political and human rights situation in the nation. The next review cycle will be in October 2022 once the 3rd cycle reviews have been adopted at the 50th session. He states that on the 8th of June 2022, the Bureau discussed the question of the adoption on Myanmar, as a conclusion, Myanmar had supported 190 out of 354 recs and emphasised the importance of preserving the integrity of the UPR process and supported recommendations to provide improvement to the human rights situation on the ground. Bureau proposal that council:

1. Must recognise the prompt implementation of the recommended sections in the draft UPR which included 190 recommendations supported by Myanmar.

2. The consideration and adoption of the UPR until the General Assembly decides on the representation of Myanmar. This decision should be included in official records at the 50th session. The President should also present a draft written decision for adoption at the end of the session which the council will decide on in the 4th cycle of the UPR.

The President asked if there were any delegations wanting to comment on this proposal. There were no comments and hence the proposal was agreed upon. There were also no comments or disagreements on the program of work. He then outlined the procedures for speaking in these sessions. He reminded delegates to respect time limits and that the deadline for submission of draft proposals is the 29th of June 2022 at 1 pm.

The President highlights that full cooperation is essential to ensure that we can fully deliver on the mandates developed in the council. While criticism would be expected to improve the human rights situation on the ground, mandate holders must be treated with respect and personal attacks and threats are utterly unacceptable. The President requests that to improve accessibility to discussions, statements should be uploaded in word format and there should be live captioning available at all times. He also stated that sexual harassment issues are a priority for the council and will be dealt with seriously. He informs the council that Lucy Duncan has been appointed as the gender focal point to assist with the implementation of the sexual harassment code of conduct in the council and that all complaints will be dealt with promptly. With that, he declares agenda item 2 open, which is the High Commissioner's Annual Report. The President then invites the High Commissioner to speak and her full oral presentation can be found here.

Believing that sustainable and fair globalisation is a crucial element of peacebuilding, CD4Peace encourages the Human Rights Council to continue its efforts in facilitating international dialogue and promoting the right to development. CD4Peace also condemns all forms of violence and discrimination in line with international human rights law and international humanitarian law.


Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development for Peace