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        General Assembly
3 August 2012

Official Records
Sixty-seventh Session
Supplement No. 36

Report of the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights

I. Introduction

1. The present report presents the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) undertaken from August 2011 to July 2012, illustrating the implementation of the six thematic priorities of the Office as defined in its management plans for 2010-2011 and 2012-2013.


A. Strengthening of human rights mechanisms and the progressive development of international human rights law

1. Strengthening of human rights mechanisms

(a) Human Rights Council


13. On the basis of Human Rights Council mandates, OHCHR continued to support the commissions of inquiry on Libya and the Syrian Arab Republic and assisted in the establishment of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.1


E. Combating impunity and strengthening accountability, the rule of law and democratic society

1. Combating impunity


62. OHCHR also continued to support international commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions established by the Human Rights Council to investigate allegations of gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Libya, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Furthermore, OHCHR provided guidance and advice to such commissions on investigation methodology and tools for recording, analysing and archiving information. At the request of the Secretary-General, OHCHR conducted a review of United Nations engagement with commissions of inquiry and similar mechanisms. Based on 30 cases, the review highlighted the wealth of United Nations experience in this domain, the positive impact of methodologies refined through years of practice, and the critical contributions of commissions of inquiry to inform international action and to establish accountability where serious human rights violations occur.


F. Protecting human rights in situations of armed conflict, violence and insecurity

1. Armed conflict and violence

73. During the reporting period, my Office continued its efforts to enhance the implementation of Security Council mandates for human rights protection. My representatives and I were invited on nearly 20 occasions to brief the Security Council on human rights protection in armed conflicts, as well as on specific situations (Libya, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Sudan and South Sudan), emphasizing the importance of adequate resources to support protection mandates and ensure sustained attention to accountability. ...


2. OHCHR engagement in humanitarian action

78. In 2011, OHCHR adopted a strategy on engagement in humanitarian action in order to be a more predictable, timely and effective actor in humanitarian preparedness and response. Furthermore, many human rights field presences continued to integrate human rights into humanitarian work by providing expert advice to humanitarian country teams, participating in protection clusters and, in some cases, including Haiti, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the Asia and the Pacific region, leading such clusters. ...


III. Conclusions

80. The increasing number of requests for assistance from my Office reveals a growing awareness that addressing human rights issues is essential in all societies. The increased attention of the Security Council to human rights issues and to the role of OHCHR reflects the recognition that the protection of human rights is vital to the objective of peace and security. The affirmation of the centrality of human rights to the concept of sustainable development at Rio+20 and the many human rights commitments set out in its outcome document are also welcome. The numerous resolutions of the Human Rights Council mandating OHCHR to conduct monitoring, reporting and technical cooperation also indicate an eagerness to address chronic as well as emerging situations and issues.

81. These developments also demonstrate great trust in OHCHR. While determined to undertake these challenges, the Office needs adequate political and financial support if it is to fulfil its mandate in a timely and meaningful manner, with a view to contributing effectively to the protection of human rights everywhere.

1Resolution 19/17.


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