Action on No-Action Motion

Saudi Arabia took the floor on a point of order to request a no-action motion, saying this was a last attempt to make co-sponsors understand the consequences of this deeply divisive proposal that failed to recognize cultural differences. The draft was contrary to international human rights law and would disregard the universality of human rights, Saudi Arabia said, calling on the main co-sponsors to reconsider the consideration of this draft resolution.

The President said he would give the floor to two speakers for the no-action motion and two speakers against it.

Mexico, taking the floor, on L.2/Rev.1, said that it opposed categorically the non-action motion and asked that it be put to a vote. Mexico deplored countries which took refuge behind a procedural rule to prevent the Human Rights Council from speaking on an initiative. It was the responsibility of the Council to openly address those situations which undermined human rights around the world. The international community might have diverging points of view, but closing the dialogue should not be an option to hinder progress on human rights protection. The no-action motion made it impossible for the Council to address those issues. Voting for the motion was tantamount to avoiding the responsibility that States had accepted when they became members of the Council and it would ignore the suffering of thousands. All were encouraged to reaffirm their support for the mechanisms of the body they had decided to be a part of. Mexico called for the motion to be rejected.

Panama rejected the no-action motion and said that it was clear that what was sought was an escape route. It was imperative that the Council addressed all forms of violence and discrimination against people. All were called on to vote against the no-action motion.

Bangladesh expressed support for the proposal made by Saudi Arabia.

Nigeria took the floor on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, with the exception of Albania, and spoke in favour of the no-action motion on draft resolution L.2 as requested by Saudi Arabia. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation believed that the draft resolution L.2 was divisive and was concerned that the lack of definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity and the attached human rights and fundamental freedoms carried certain responsibility for States. The controversial views of those issues could not be imposed by some Member States. The adoption of the resolution would ensure that the attention on sexual orientation and gender identity issues as seen by the Western States would take root in the United Nations, without taking into account the views of a large number of States. The draft resolution was highly divisive and would create rancour within the Council which now should be focusing on its core agenda.

The Council rejected the no-action motion by a vote of 15 in favour, 22 against and nine abstentions.