Details of the session below
The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold a special session on Friday on the “grave” situation in Ethiopia, at the request of the European Union, a U.N. statement said on Monday.
The request was supported by the required one-third of the forum’s 47 member states as well as by observers including the United States, it said.
A draft EU resolution being presented condemns violations committed by all sides in the conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, which U.N. rights chief Michelle Bachelet said last month may amount to war crimes. If adopted, it would set up an international commission of human rights experts on Ethiopia to investigate further and report back after a year.
“In light of the aggravating situation, we believe the international community has a moral obligation to try to prevent further atrocities and ensure accountability and justice for victims and survivors,” Lotte Knudsen, head of the EU delegation to the U.N. in Geneva, said in a statement. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Emma Farge)
The Human Rights Council will hold a special session on Friday, 17 December, to address the “grave human rights situation in Ethiopia”.
The special session is being convened following an official request submitted on 13 December by the European Union.
In order for a special session to be convened, the support of one-third of the 47 members of the Council – 16 or more – is required. The request was supported thus far by the following States Members of the Council: (17) Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Marshall Islands, Republic of Korea, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Uruguay.
The request was also supported thus far by the following observer States: (36) Albania, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica*, Croatia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United States.
The list of signatories remains open up to the holding of the special session. Therefore, the above list of States is to be considered provisional.
The special session will take place in a hybrid format in room XVIII of the Palais des Nations. It will start at 10 a.m. on Friday, 17 December. An organizational meeting will be held on Wednesday, 15 December at 12 p.m. when specific details on the special session and its scenario will be announced.
The special session and the organizational meeting will be webcast live in six United Nations languages. Due to COVID-19 measures, the majority of interventions will be delivered online; the media is therefore encouraged to follow the meeting on the webcast.
This will be the thirty-third special session of the Council and the fifth in 2021. A full list of the Human Rights Council’s special sessions can be found here.