November 25th, 2021
By Rehan Piracha
The UN Human Rights Council has decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur to monitor the situation of human rights in Afghanistan. Sources say the appointment of the Special Rapporteur will be made in the March session of the Human Rights Council and will be appointed for a one-year period with a mandate to seek, receive, examine and act on information from all relevant stakeholders pertaining to the situation of human rights in the country.
The decision to appoint the special rapporteur came about with the HR Council’s adoption of a resolution on the human rights situation in Afghanistan on October 7, following the Taliban takeover of the country. The European Union proposed the resolution on Afghanistan.
Interestingly, five countries – Pakistan, China, Russia, Eritrea, and Venezuela – opposed the resolution while 28 countries including France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sudan, Togo, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Uruguay voted in favor of this resolution.
On the call of three of the countries (Pakistan, China and Russia) who opposed the resolution, and did not want a unanimous passage, a vote was held. Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cuba, Indonesia, Libya, Mauritania, Nepal, Senegal, Somalia and Uzbekistan were among 14 countries abstaining from the vote.
The council also rejected various amendments to the resolution.
According to the resolution, the special rapporteur will be presenting a written report to the Human Rights Council at its 51st session and to the General Assembly at its 77th session, in accordance with their respective programmes of work.