Human Rights Council adopts Swiss-led resolution

Bern, 07.10.2022 - The Human Rights Council (HRC) concluded its 51st session today in Geneva, following an intensive four-week programme of work conducted in a hybrid format. The armed conflict in Ukraine as well as the human rights situations in Xinjiang (China) and Russia were at the core of the discussions. In particular, the HRC adopted a resolution presented by Switzerland on transitional justice and human rights.

After High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet's departure on 31 August and with her successor, Volker Türk, not yet in office, the session was opened by Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif, who gave an update on the global human rights situation. She emphasised the many situations raising grave concerns and requiring urgent action, particularly in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Nicaragua, South Sudan, Sri Lanka and Ukraine.

At this last ordinary session of the year 2022, the HRC also adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Russia, which had been supported by Switzerland. This resolution led to the creation of a mandate of a special rapporteur, the holder of which will submit a written report to the HRC at its 54th session, after being nominated at the 52nd session in March 2023.

On the other hand, the HRC rejected a decision on the human rights situation in Xinjiang. Switzerland had supported the text, and regrets the outcome of the vote. Switzerland does not have the right to vote in the HRC because it is currently not a member of this body.

Swiss-led resolution adopted by consensus

During interactive dialogues with the acting high commissioner and UN experts, Switzerland spoke on issues relating to a variety of geographical contexts, including in Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. Switzerland also expressed its concern about the developments in Iran. A resolution it presented with Argentina and Morocco on human rights and transitional justice was adopted by consensus. The resolution stresses the importance of dealing with the past, and recalls that the four pillars of transitional justice - namely truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence - are necessary to fight impunity and break cycles of crisis repetition, and can promote sustainable development.

Switzerland also supported a joint declaration by several states on Nicaragua and Ukraine. It contributed actively and put forward its positions in discussions on Afghanistan, China, Ethiopia, Russia, Syria and Venezuela, among others.

Switzerland’s large-scale commitments

Switzerland's involvement on thematic issues was equally active, for example with regard to resolutions on the safety of journalists, terrorism and human rights, the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest standard of physical and mental health, the role of prevention in the promotion and protection of human rights, the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, and a new resolution on the impact of neurotechnology on human rights. Switzerland also spoke during the interactive dialogue with the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, which presented the report of its visit to Switzerland in January 2022.

Address for enquiries

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs