Statement of President at General Assembly informal plenary

17 March 2011

Mr. Chairman,
Excellencies,
Distinguish delegates,

To begin with, I would like to thank Ambassador Loulichki and Ambassador Wenaweser for inviting me to address this informal plenary meeting on the review of the status of the Human Rights Council once again. I also appreciate regular coordination we have had since the beginning, including your latest presence at the working group meeting in Geneva last month, which helps to align the two review processes, despite the different mandates we have.

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

After several months of hard work, starting informally since July last year, I have a pleasure to inform you that the review process in Geneva was concluded at the Working Group Level three weeks ago on 24 February. Some says the outcome was below their expectations. But, I believe, all of us have to accept the fact that the outcome reflects the realities within the Council and the best effort that we could achieve under the present circumstances. Moreover, I believe that the outcome we achieved still goes along the way in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Council.

However, the main purpose of me coming today is not to talk about the outcome, which I suppose I will have another opportunity to present to the GA later when it is formally adopted by the Council by the end of March session next week.

Today, I would like to take the opportunity that you are discussing issues concerning the relationship between the Council and the GA, in particular the Third Committee, to offer some contributions.  

First of all, I would like to join all delegations here in welcoming the paper prepared by the Co-Facilitators for this meeting, in particular the specific questions put forward. Addressing these questions would definitely help to facilitate and support the work on the Council.

We do recognize that these matters fall within in the realm of the GA. Final decisions have to be made here. But at the same time, how and when the report and recommendations of the Council are considered and acted upon by the GA are avoidably inter-related to and impact on the work of the Council.

For example, as I mentioned to you during the last time I addressed this meeting in December – that the current time gap for the consideration of the report of the Council has resulted in the delay in the provision of resources to support new mandates and activities. It has caused financial and planning problems for the OHCHR, where the resources must be drawn from provisionally.

Therefore, we wish to humbly offer some thinking and inputs from the Council's perspective, which we hope would complement your consideration.

That is why I have invited Ambassador Adriss Jazairy, the Permanent Representative of Algeria, who I have appointed as the Coordinator on the overlapping issues, to come with me today. Ambassador Jazairy has come up with the paper, which I have submitted to the President of the GA and has been circulated to all of you.

The paper is a result of close coordination he and I had with the Co-Facilitators. It is not a part of the adopted outcome but received positive response from delegations, with the understanding that it should serve as a basis for further discussion with New York.

Ambassador Jazairy will provide further elaboration on his paper later this morning. Therefore, I will not be long.

Nevertheless, I wish to emphasize that, on the part of the Council, our main interest is to ensure that the report, resolutions and recommendations of the Council, especially those with financial implications, are acted upon in a predictable, systematic and timely manner.

For predictability and systematicity, we support a clear permanent arrangement for the allocation of the report and recommendations of the Council. We support that actions be taken on the Council's resolutions and recommendations automatically. And we support that actions be taken on individual resolutions rather than the whole report collectively.

On our part, we also try to do better. With this review, the Council decides to change its cycle year to be coinciding with the calendar year. This will help to reduce the time gap for actions to be taken upon the report of the Council by the GA at least by 6 months.

However, certain actions will be needed from the GA for this new arrangement to materialize, including the transitional arrangements for membership and the institutionalization of the practice to consider the report of the September session of the Council. Ambassador Jazairy will elaborate more on these needed actions.

And we count on the support from the GA to make all these happen.

I thank you for your kind attention.