5th Session of the Human Rights Council

5th Session of the Human Rights Council
Geneva, Switzerland
11th - 20th June 2007


The Human Rights Council (HRC) held its 5th Sessions from the 11th to 20th June 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. Among the reports given was one prepared by the Group of Experts on the human rights situation in Darfur. A report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was to be presented by the independent expert on the situation of human rights in the DRC but unfortunately the session was cancelled. A report on the situation in Somalia was also due to be presented by the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, but in the event Mr. Ghanim Alnajjar gave only an oral presentation. Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) was able to give a statement during the interactive session on Darfur, and plans to participate in the future sessions on the DRC and Somalia.

The group of experts on the human rights situation in Darfur was mandated by the 4th Session of the HRC, in resolution 4/8, to follow up on the implementation of resolutions and recommendations on Darfur adopted by the HRC, the former Commission on Human Rights and other United Nations human rights institutions. The group was composed of seven mandate holders and was presided by Ms Sima Samar, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan. At the 4th Session of the HRC, FAS advocated for more attention to be drawn to the fate of women and girls in Darfur and organized a panel of discussion in which Professor Erturk, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, participated.

FAS's advocacy work was successful as Professor Erturk was included in the group of experts: a real acknowledgement that women in Darfur face specific challenges requiring unique solutions. Equally, the report presented at the 5th Session placed great emphasis on the plight of women and made numerous recommendations concerning the protection of women. FAS gave a statement welcoming this thorough report, and praised the focus on women, but urged the Council to make sure the promises of the Government of Sudan were followed through.

See link to webcast to see Mrs Roberta Mean giving the statement on Darfur.

http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/archive.asp?go=070613

A report by Mr. Titinga Frédéric Pacéré, the independent expert on the situation of human rights in the DRC, was due to be presented during the 5th Session. FAS had prepared a statement on the situation in the country, based on information received from women's networks in the DRC, but the presentation of the report was postponed until the 6th Session of the HRC. FAS will be giving an updated version of the statement at the next session of the Council.

A report by Mr. Ghanim Alnajjar, the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, was also to be given during the 5th Session. However, owing to the security situation in Somalia, resulting from the recent conflict in the country, the expert was unable to undertake his mission. Mr Alnajjar gave only an oral report. FAS will be making a statement, also based on information from its networks there, in the next session.