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1. Understanding the Human Rights Council

1.6 Government Statements – What does the Human Rights Council do?

The main outputs of the regular sessions of the Human Rights Council are:

  1. Resolutions
  2. Government statements

This section focuses on the second output:

Governments Statements

At the Human Rights Council, governments can make statements that express a position vis-à-vis a particular human rights issue or a human rights situation in another country.

A statement can be made by a single State, or several governments can deliver a joint statement. For example:

Statements are not as strong as resolutions, as they do not have the authority to request the UN to take action or contribute resources. But they are a way of getting the Council to pay attention to issues that are not on the agenda, and is often a necessary step for further action by the UN.

For more information on Government Statements, including examples and how you can influence the process, see ISHR Academy: Government Statements – Why are they useful?

Now it's time to reflect again on the strengths and weaknesses of the Human Rights Council, in the next section.

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