is a strong supporter of the Council's mandate to respond to violations around
the world. It has been the member of the African Group with the strongest
voting record in the Council.
Voting Record in 2016
2015 Voting Record
Botswana has an excellent voting record on resolutions addressing situations of violations around the world. In a welcome move, Botswana shifted from abstaining to supporting the Sri Lanka resolution, while also opposing the no-action motion aimed at adjourning the vote on that resolution. Botswana continued to support all country-specific resolutions voted under agenda items 2, 4 and 10. It also continued to support the joint statement on the human rights situation in Bahrain in June 2014.
Following the release of the Council’s hard-hitting Commission of Inquiry report on North Korea, Botswana cut its diplomatic ties with the country in February 2014.
Botswana supported the special sessions of the Council on the Central African Republic and on Iraq, but it did not support the special session on the conflict in Gaza.
Botswana also supported all the resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories (OPT), with the exception of the resolution during the July 2014 Gaza special session, on which it abstained.
2014, Botswana co-sponsored several country resolutions in its national
capacity, including the resolutions on Syria and on North Korea. Similarly, it
contributed to a number of country-specific debates under Item 4 at the
Council. Botswana should maintain its principled and non-selective approach to
human rights and accountability in the work of the Council, and should continue
to increase its contributions to the oral debates dealing with situations of
violations at the Council.
Voting record in 2014
Support for key joint statements in 2014
Botswana supported all the resolutions adopted by the Council on Syria, Belarus and Iran, and was outspoken on the issue of accountability in Syria. Botswana’s only serious misstep during this period was its abstention on the resolutions on Sri Lanka, which was a regrettable mark on an otherwise impeccable record. Botswana’s position on Sri Lanka is at odds with its principled approach to country situations in the Council. Botswana should reconsider this position in order to support justice and accountability in Sri Lanka.
Botswana voted in favor of all the resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.
Botswana has made a significant contribution to the debates of the Council, often focusing on the responsibility of its member states. For example, in a September 2011 debate on Syria, Botswana reminded the Council of its overarching purpose:
[T]he Syrian government has a responsibility to protect its people, but if the government is failing or is itself killing its own people, the international community assumes that responsibility to protect the people. That is our responsibility to all humanity.
In line with its concern for justice and accountability, Botswana was a signatory of the Swiss-coordinated joint statement calling for the referral of the situation in Syria to the ICC. Botswana took a positive step in 2013 when it signed on to the joint statements on human rights in Bahrain.
In 2012 and 2013, Botswana co-sponsored a total of 47 country-specific resolutions under agenda
items 1, 4, 7 and 10, including several resolutions focusing on situations in
African countries, most of the Council’s Syria resolutions and the resolution
creating the Special Rapporteur mandate on Belarus.