The 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC48) was unique in many ways, with incredibly mixed outcomes. On the one hand, the Council took significant steps forward in relation to the environment and human rights. It also advanced other important thematic initiatives, including adopting resolutions addressing the use of surveillance technologies and transparency around the use of the death penalty. On the other, the shattering defeat of the resolution to extend the mandate of the sole international investigative mechanism on Yemen represented a terrible collective failure of the Council and an abject betrayal of the people in Yemen. Resolutions on a range of other situations were both welcome and lacklustre. For instance, the Council delivered an important response to the crisis in Afghanistan, but did not go as far as it should or could have done in this regard. Much work is needed to build on and ensure implementation of resolutions adopted, as well as rectify areas where the Council fell short of its mandate and expectations.
This paper provides a brief assessment of some of the key outcomes from the session from Amnesty International’s perspective.