Austria’s term at the Council ended in 2014. It has been a strong supporter of
the Council's work on country situations, but its contribution could be further
enhanced in the future if it exercised greater leadership in mobilizing the
Council to take action on country situations that remain unaddressed.
Austria supported all country-specific resolutions put to a vote under the Council’s agenda Items 2, 4 and 10 on Syria, Sri Lanka, North Korea, Iran, Ukraine and Belarus, as well as the joint statements on the situations in Bahrain and Egypt. Austria voted in favor of all but two resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories (OPT). Regrettably, it abstained on the resolution voted on during the Council’s July 2014 special session on Israeli military operations in Gaza.
Austria co-sponsored a number of important country-specific resolutions, including all those tabled under Item 4, the resolution on Sri Lanka, several Item 10 texts and one resolution under Item 7. Moreover, Austria intervened in a high number of country-specific debates and supported the calls for the special sessions on the Central African Republic and Iraq.
In spite of Austria’s principled support for Council action on country situations, it fell short of taking a leadership role to ensure that the Council addresses new emerging or chronic situations of abuses. As Austria will join the group of observer states in 2015, and in order to remain a relevant player at the Council, it should consolidate its engagement by assuming a greater leadership role in mobilizing action on situations that are not yet addressed by the Council.
Voting record in 2014
Support for key joint statements in 2014
Austria voted in favor of all country resolutions put to the vote under items 2 and 4, and signed all the key joint statements that were delivered on country situations. This positive record was marred by Austria’s abstention on the amendments to strengthen the Libya resolution in March 2012.
In 2012, Austria voted in favor of all but two of the resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories. In 2013 Austria voted in favor of all the resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, except the resolution on the human rights situation in the occupied Syrian Golan on which it abstained.
In 2012 and 2013, Austria co-sponsored a total of 39 resolutions, under agenda items 1, 2, 4, 7 and
10. Similarly, Austria had a strong record of participation in the country-specific
debates of the Council.