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36th session Human Rights Council wraps up with Swiss resolutions

Switzerland was represented at the session by UN Ambassador Valentin Zellweger.


The 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council finished in Geneva on Friday with the adoption of two Swiss-initiated resolutions on the death penalty and transitional justice.

A resolution on the death penalty was successfully presented by Switzerland together with Belgium, Benin, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Moldova, and Mongolia. Its purpose was to emphasise the “negative consequences of the death penalty for the protection of human rights,” according to a foreign ministry press releaseexternal link on Friday.

The resolution asked countries that have not yet abolished the death penalty to ensure that it is not “applied arbitrarily or in a discriminatory manner”.

The other resolution proposed by Switzerland and adopted by the Council concerned the second renewal of a three-year mandate for a Special Rapporteur on transitional justice. This role, as defined in cooperation with Argentina and Morocco, involves developing recommendations for responding to grave human rights violations, and has been modified to emphasise prevention of situations with a risk of recurrence.

The September session of the 47-member-state Human Rights Council lasted three weeks. Switzerland’s participation also included close involvement in debates on human rights violations and conflicts in Syria and Yemen. According to the foreign ministry, Switzerland pledged to “protect the medical mission in conflict zones” and supported the establishment of a group of experts responsible for documenting violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. and agencies/cl

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