María Emma Mejía Vélez, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations, was elected to chair the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural) on 13 June 2016 (see Press Release GA/11791).
Culminating a session that saw intense debate on a range of issues, from the rights of the child to States’ responsibilities to protect refugees, the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) concluded its work today, approving a draft resolution on human rights defenders, which will be included in a package of 62 texts expected to be taken up by the General Assembly in December.
For the first time since 2009, delegates today requested a recorded vote on a draft resolution on the rights of the child, as the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) sent a package of 13 texts to the General Assembly on a range of issues, from preventing violence and women migrant workers to involving youth in paving a way to a sustainable future.
Draft resolutions that would see the General Assembly address such topics as the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the impact of mercenaries and globalization on human rights were among 13 texts approved today by the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural).
Efforts to clamp down on terrorists must, at the same time, comply with all human rights, humanitarian and refugee law, the Third Committee heard today as it approved nine texts, including on counter-terrorism, freedom of religion or belief, combating religious intolerance and promoting cultural diversity.
Confrontation and politically motivated country-specific resolutions undermined the dialogue and cooperation between States and hampered the improvement of human rights, the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) heard today as it took action on a package of draft resolutions ranging from situation reports of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Syria to the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
By one of three draft resolutions the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) approved today, the General Assembly would welcome the peaceful and competitive conduct of the elections held in Myanmar on 8 November 2015, but express serious concern over political disenfranchisement and the disqualification of candidates from the Rohingya community and religious and ethnic minorities.
The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today rejected one text and sent another six draft resolutions to the General Assembly, among them a draft that would have the world body urge States not to return a person to another State if he or she faced risks of being subjected to torture and to ensure that border control operations and reception centres fully complied with human rights.
As the Human Rights Council was moving into its tenth year, its record had testified to a high level of responsiveness while it continued to be actively engaged in cases of urgent and chronic violations, that body’s president told the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today while presenting its annual report during an interactive dialogue the preceded a general discussion.
A draft resolution that would see the General Assembly address the global refugee crisis and the role of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was among four texts approved today without a vote by the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural).
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