The Human Rights Council (HRC) is regarded as one of the most important multilateral frameworks within the United Nations (UN) system where political issues are discussed.
The Council was created on the basis of the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/251 on 15 March 2006. It replaced the former UN Human Rights Commission. HRC meets for at least 10 weeks per year at the UN Office in Geneva in three regular sessions usually taking place in March (4 weeks), June (3 weeks) and September (3 weeks).
Except being multilateral platform for exchange of views over various aspects of human rights, the HRC also serves to monitor the implementation of the obligations of States deriving from international conventions and to issue relevant recommendations.
The Council collects data about human rights situation around the world through Universal Periodic Review process, special procedures mandate holders, working groups, fact finding missions and other mechanisms, and adopts relevant decisions and resolutions. It has also responsibility to put forward recommendations for the UN General Assembly in advancing international legal framework on human rights.
Being elected to the UN Human Rights Commission in 2005, the Republic of Azerbaijan, following the transformation of Commission to the Council, has automatically become one of the first members of the newly established Human Rights Council in 2006. Membership of Azerbaijan at the Human Rights Council lasted until 2009. It served as the Vice-President of the HRC in 2008-2009.
While holding observer status at the HRC, the Republic of Azerbaijan actively contributes to all deliberations at the sessions of the Council, including through delivering statements during the interactive dialogues, contributing to the drafting processes of HRC resolutions and organising side events dedicated to the topics pertinent to the agenda of the Council.
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Kenya organized a side event on the margins of the 35th session of the HRC dedicated to the topic of “Promotion of SDGs and Human Rights through efficient, transparent and accountable public service delivery: cases of Azerbaijan and Kenya”. Panel of the event composed of the representatives of both countries, researcher on governance issues from the Basel Institute on Governance, as well as senior representative from the Canada-based NGO of International Institute on Sustainable Development.
Top priority of the Republic of Azerbaijan in its engagement with the Human Rights Council is to draw the attention of the international community to the violated rights of more than 1 million Azerbaijani internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees generated as a result of the occupation of more than 20 percent of its territories by the Republic of Armenia, and to call upon the states to take necessary measures for restoring those rights.
Another priority of Azerbaijan at the HRC is to promote the implementation of SDGs in the context of the implementation of human rights obligations. In particular, relying on its national best practice in the field of transparent, efficient and accountable public service delivery, Azerbaijan, in cooperation with other states having established similar public service models, is endeavouring to highlight the importance of human rights context of the public service delivery at the HRC.