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Conclusion of the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council

After four weeks, the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council drew to a close on Monday, 11 October. This meeting was one of the most demanding meetings for Slovenia in recent years, as it participated as the Chair of Council of the European Union and was in charge of several initiatives.

Slovenia’s most prominent contribution to the meeting was the adoption of a resolution on a healthy environment, which proclaims the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable living environment globally. The adoption of the resolution represents a significant milestone in Slovenia’s multiannual efforts in linking the living environment with human rights. At a global level, the resolution extends the human rights protection framework to take in some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century.

The adoption of the first substantive resolution on the human rights of older persons, which Slovenia presented at this meeting together with Argentina and Brazil, is the result of more than ten years of endeavour. With this resolution, the Council addressed the issues of age discrimination and ageism.

Slovenia will build on its activities in both areas in the future. A particularly clear ambition is the long-term objective of adopting an international legal instrument for the rights of older people, which would provide adequate standards for the protection of their rights worldwide.

At ministerial level, Slovenia participated in the ceremony marking the round anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, which our country and a group of countries successfully presented at the UN General Assembly ten years ago.

Slovenia also invested considerable effort in the context of the EU resolution on the human rights situation in Afghanistan, where serious challenges in the area of respect for human rights have arisen following the departure of the Allied forces. The resolution established a new international mechanism to oversee and report back to the Human Rights Council on human rights violations. The Burundi Human Rights Initiative is changing the way in which human rights violations are monitored in this country, while the resolution on climate change established a new special rapporteur in this area.

The 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council took place between 13 September and 11 October. At the meeting, 28 initiatives were approved, with Slovenia particularly welcoming the successful adoption of resolutions on Syria, the death penalty, the right to privacy, and child, early and forced marriages. Slovenia particularly regrets the rejection of the resolution on Yemen, which, with the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts, would have provide an important contribution to understanding the grave human rights violations committed in the country for many years.