On November 1, 2019 the Permanent Representative of Belarus to the United Nations, Valentin Rybakov, made the statement at the plenary meeting of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly on the Report of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Background Information. In accordance with the mandate of the Human Rights Council (HRC, Council), determined by UN General Assembly resolution 65/281, the Council annually submits a report on its work to the General Assembly.
In his statement, the head of the Belarusian Diplomatic Mission reaffirmed the importance of the United Nations Human Rights Council in the international human rights topic, stressing that the work of this body should be focused on real human rights issues and should contribute to the strengthening of the capacity of states to protect and promote human rights.
V.Rybakov supported the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, established in accordance with the mandate of the HRC, through which non-selective monitoring of the human rights situation in all countries should be carried out.
At the same time, the Belarusian diplomat criticized the activities of the HRC, noting the existence of entrenched problems in its work: politicization and double standards; bias assessment of the human rights situations in different countries; overloaded discussions with a country-specific ”subjects“. The Belarusian diplomat stressed that the HRC is becoming a repressive body and works against of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, which does not mention the legalization of political pressure, sanctions or their threat.
The head of the Belarusian Diplomatic Mission opposed country-specific mandates, which do not contribute to dialogue between states.
Taking into account the critical financial situation and the need to save resources of the UN, V.Rybakov suggested to consider the revision of the agendas of the HRC and Third Committee and to exclude of duplicative resolutions from them, which will increase the effectiveness of the HRC, reduce human and financial resources.
The Permanent Representative of Belarus stressed that the strengthening of the HRC should not be considered by giving this body additional functions of ”refereeing“. The head of the Belarusian mission also spoke in favor of the need to develop cooperative mechanisms and discussion platforms in the Council to exchange best practices in various areas of human rights, including in the context of the implementation of the Agenda 2030.