Today, March 27, the Human Rights Council adopted resolutions concerning the human rights situation in Syria and Iran. Brazil abstained from voting on both draft resolutions. The explanation of the Brazilian vote delivered by the Brazilian Delegation in Geneva can be found below.
Human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic
"Brazil abstained on the vote on the draft resolution on 'the continuing grave deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic'. We are fully aware of the grave human rights situation in the field, which needs to be duly addressed by this Council.
Despite the latest modifications to the text, the resolution still fails to recognize the responsibility and properly repudiate the participation of several opposition armed groups, other than Daesh and Al-Nusra, in gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law. Such a shortcoming may erroneously convey a message of tolerance to those grave wrongdoings and thus encourage further violence against the civilian population.
Also regrettable is the lack of emphasis on the need for enhanced engagement of all parties in political negotiations. There is no military solution for the crisis and the insistence in viewing a military victory as the only way out is a real and definite cause of the current plight of the Syrian population.
Brazil stresses that it is the primary responsibility of the Syrian authorities to secure the rights of the Syrian population. Notwithstanding, it is the responsibility of all countries to prevent further militarization of the conflict. Acting otherwise is sharing the responsibility for the atrocities faced by civilians in Syria and its surroundings.
Brazil urges all parties to the conflict and their supporters to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, to provide unhindered access to humanitarian agencies and to refrain from any action that could protract the conflict any longer.
Brazil is willing to contribute with genuine efforts to find a political solution to the crisis, through transparent, inclusive and non-sectarian negotiations.
We hope to see the culturally diverse and rich Syrian society reemerging in peace soon."
Situation of the human rights in the Republic of Iran
"Brazil abstained on the vote on the draft resolution about the "Situation of the human rights in the Republic of Iran". Brazil understands that Iran's renewed engagement with the human rights system should be acknowledged, particularly the acceptance of most of the recommendations made during the country's participation in the second cycle of the UPR and the invitations to the High Commissioner and the Special Rapporteurs on the right to food and on the right to health to visit Iran.
We take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the work developed by the Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed for the last four years. We are certain that his contribution has been fundamental to raise awareness about important issues regarding human rights' violations in Iran, especially of women, human rights defenders, journalists, religious minorities, like the Baha'í, who peacefully exercise internationally recognized rights. The increase in the number of executions in Iran following the application of the death penalty is also an issue that causes particular concern to Brazil.
We hope Iran's engagement with the mechanisms of the United Nations human rights system translates into effective measures to promote and protect human rights in the country. During the second cycle of the country's Universal Periodic Review, held last October, the Human Rights Council drew attention to a great number of violations which we expect should be properly addressed by Iran.
We truly hope to see even more cooperation from the Iranian government regarding resolutions and initiatives implemented by this Council in the future."