HRC37 Intervention on Saudi Arabia’s non-compliance with HRC membership standards

On Thursday 15 March during the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council, ADHRB’s Saudi Advocacy Associate, Tyler Pry, delivered an oral intervention under the Item 5 General Debate. In his intervention, Pry noted the necessary membership standards of the Human Rights Council as upholding exemplary standards of human rights, and that Saudi Arabia has failed to meet these standards. Click here for a PDF of his intervention.

Mr. President,

Alsalam and ADHRB would like to raise concerns about the human rights standards upheld by Members of the Human Rights Council, including widespread and systematic human rights abuses, war crimes or patterns of negative engagement with the UN and its mechanisms.

Article 9 of Resolution 60/251, calls on Member States of the Council to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.” However, HRC Member Saudi Arabia, for example, fails to uphold these standards. It has refused to accede to a number of major human rights treaties and Optional Protocols, and the kingdom systematically suppresses fundamental freedoms and carries out torture and executions against peaceful critics.

Saudi Arabia refuses to engage with UN mechanisms, including by buying its way off a UN blacklist of states accused of violating children’s rights. In addition, in its 2nd cycle UPR in 2013, the kingdom received 225 recommendations. Although it accepted 187 recommendations, it has failed to fully implement all but one.

Mr. President, if this Council is to have any credibility it must work with integrity to address human rights abuses. It cannot do so with a perennial violator in its midst. We thus call on the Council to suspend Saudi Arabia’s membership effective immediately.

Thank you.