Statement by H. E. Mr. Kazuo Kodama
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
and Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
Agenda item 64 : Report of the Human Rights Council
Sixty-seventh Session of the General Assembly
14 November 2012
I thank the President of the Human Rights Council for her presentation of her report today as well as her continued dedication to the Council.
The Human Rights Council is responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons. We would like to stress that the Council was established in order to address violations of human rights and to make recommendations thereupon. Since its establishment, the Human Rights Council has steadily and steadfastly established its track records in course of actively responding to human rights violations.
In particular, we appreciate that the Council has acted in order to address the serious violations of human rights in Syria during its regular sessions and also in its four special sessions. Such actions include the establishment of an Independent International Commission of Inquiry, the conduction of the Special Investigation into the atrocities in El-Houleh by the Commission and the strengthening of the capacity of the Commission. It was a conscious decision on the part of the Council to adopt several resolutions on this matter in order to send strong messages to the Syrian Government.
Furthermore, in a sign of progress, some country specific resolutions were submitted to the Council by various Member States or regional groups, and, upon obtaining cross-regional support, several were adopted by consensus. The Government of Japan supports the use of such a mechanism of the Council in order to address and respond to human rights violations.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a truly innovative mechanism within the Council which can effectively improve the human rights situation of all Member States through their voluntary follow-up actions. The second cycle of reviews started this year. It is important that we pay attention to the implementation of the accepted recommendations by each Member State from the first cycle. The second review of Japan was conducted on 31 October and the draft report of the Working Group was adopted on 2 November. Japan will seriously examine the recommendations by Member States and our response will be announced in the upcoming HRC session.
The Special Procedures complement the UPR by addressing particularly serious human rights violations around the world. In this regard, each Member State should issue a standing invitation to the Special Procedures.
We highly appreciate the initiative of the High Commissioner to strengthen the human rights treaty body system, and we also welcome the launch of her Report on this matter. Japan attaches great importance to improve the efficiency of the working methods of the treaty bodies so that they can make the most of limited resources and effectively implement their mandates as specified in the treaties. It is also important to ensure the independence of the treaty bodies and their members. Based on the discussion in Geneva, Japan looks forward to engaging in the General Assembly process to realize reasonable and efficient working methods for the treaty bodies.
Let us remember that the Council was also established to realize the ‘mainstreaming of human rights’: that is, to integrate a human rights perspective into all activities of the United Nations. The role of the Third Committee of the General Assembly, as a universal body which includes all UN Member States, is also important for that purpose. We expect the Council and the Third Committee to fulfill their roles by making use of their respective advantages.
Japan was elected as a member of the Human Rights Council for the term 2013 to 2015 at the election held on 12 November. We appreciate the support and trust shown by the Member States. Let me assure you that Japan is mindful of its great responsibilities.
Japan will continue to conduct its diplomacy through promoting such universal values as human rights and democracy and will act for the protection and promotion of human rights in the international community.
I thank you, Mr. President.