Ireland’s Membership of the Human Rights Council (2013-2015)
2015 saw the conclusion of Ireland’s first term of membership of the Human Rights Council, the UN body entrusted with a mandate to strengthen promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and to address human rights violations.
Ireland used our term on the Council to intensify our engagement with issues including freedom of religion or belief, human rights defenders, rights of the child, the death penalty, gender equality, and the rights of LGBTI persons. We also participated in debates on human rights situations of concern around the world, including the occupied Palestinian territories, Syria, Yemen, Libya, DPRK, Myanmar, Burundi, Sudan and South Sudan. As Council members, we also responded to the human rights implications raised by new challenges emerging in the areas of climate change, business and human rights, violent extremism and internet freedom, and sought to defend the integrity and independence of the UN Human Rights Office.
Our diplomats in Geneva also stepped up our engagement with the Universal Periodic Review, a peer review mechanism for the human rights situations in all UN member states. Ireland participated in reviews of the human rights situation in 119 countries and made 240 recommendations, almost 70% of which were accepted. We particularly focused on the rights of women and children during our interventions.
Ireland led the drafting and negotiating of Human Rights Council resolutions that underlined the importance of free speech and free association and called on States to create and maintain safe spaces for civil society groups representing the public to act.
We also led the drafting and negotiating of Council resolutions that focused on why and how States should take a human rights-based approach to the issue of child mortality and illness.
For more information on Ireland and the UN Human Rights Council, please visit: https://www.dfa.ie/our-role-policies/international-priorities/human-rights/ireland-and-the-human-rights-council/