Human Rights Council

23 February 2009

The Human Rights Council concluded it tenth Special Session today after adopting a resolution on the impact of the global economic and financial crises on the universal realization and effective enjoyment of human rights in which it stressed that global economic and financial crises did not diminish the responsibility of national authorities in the realization of human rights and urged the international community to support national efforts to, inter alia, establish and preserve social safety nets for the protection of the most vulnerable segments of their societies.

In the resolution, which was adopted by a vote of 31 for and 14 abstentions, the Council expressed deep concern that the universal realization and effective enjoyment of human rights were challenged due to multiple and interrelated global economic and financial crises and recognized the severe impacts on the ability of countries, particularly developing countries, to mobilize resources for development and to address the impact of these crises.

The Council underlined the urgent need to establish an equitable, transparent and democratic international system to strengthen and broaden the participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making. It called upon all States to refrain from reducing international financial resources for development and from imposing protectionist measures. The Council invited relevant thematic Special Procedures, building on the deliberations of this Special Session, to consider any of the impacts of the global economic and financial crises on the realization and effective enjoyment of all human rights and to integrate their findings in their regular reports presented to the Human Rights Council, with special attention to non-discrimination and to ways and means to ensure respect for and protection of the human rights of vulnerable and marginalized groups. It also decided to remain seized with the matter.

General Assembly Resolution 60/251 which created the Human Rights Council states in its operative paragraph 10 that the Council “shall be able to hold Special Sessions when needed at the request of a member of the Council with the support of one-third of the membership of the Council”.

This was the tenth Special Session of the Human Rights Council. The Council’s previous Special Sessions related to grave human rights violations in the Gaza Strip, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Darfur, Myanmar, the Global Food Crisis and the Democratic Republic of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The tenth regular session of the Human Rights Council is scheduled to take place from 2 to 27 March 2009.

For use of the information media; not an official record