United Nations – Review of the 36th session of the Human Rights Council (2 October 2017)


The 36th session of the Human Rights Council ended on Friday, September 29 after three weeks of work.

The main results of this session are as follows:

  • Yemen: The Human Rights Council adopted by consensus a resolution on the human rights situation in Yemen. This resolution strengthens the means for combating human rights violations in Yemen by creating a group of eminent international and regional experts. France has undertaken considerable mediation efforts together with its partners in the Human Rights Council to achieve a compromise between the various groups in the country, the only way to ensure the effective implementation of the provisions of the resolution by all parties. We have repeatedly expressed our concern at the seriousness of the situation in Yemen: We condemn all violations of international humanitarian law and call for an end to the attacks against all civilian populations, regardless of where they are. The parties must guarantee safe, immediate and unrestricted humanitarian access to all populations in need. We also call for the immediate resumption of political discussions under UN auspices in order to find a political solution.
  • Burundi: The Human Rights Council adopted a resolution presented by the EU renewing the international commission of inquiry into the human rights violations that have been committed in this country since 2015. This resolution will make it possible to strengthen the commission’s independent and international investigations and to ensure better monitoring of its work. France also welcomes the fact that the government of Burundi, which is a member of the Human Rights Council, intends to resume its cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and with its office in the country, as it pledges to do so in the resolution presented by the African group and also adopted by the UNHRC.

The UNHRC also examined the human rights situation in Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. Given the seriousness of the situation in Myanmar (Burma), the UNHRC decided to extend the fact-finding mission in this country by six months. Burma must grant this mission access to the country and fully cooperate with it.

Lastly, several thematic resolutions were presented by France: one on the death penalty, adopted or sponsored by more than 60 states: the other on the renewal of the mandate of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance for three years, with the support of Argentina, Japan and Morocco. The UNHRC also adopted a resolution on cooperation with the UN, its representatives and its mechanisms in the field of human rights.

Human rights, notably the protection of children in armed conflict, are a priority for the French presidency of the UN Security Council which began on October 1.