Gabon's ambassador, Baudelaire Ndong Ella, was serving as President of the
Human Rights Council in 2014, Gabon’s performance on country situations
2015 Voting Record
Gabon’s voting record on resolutions addressing country situations under Items 2, 4 and 10 of the Council’s agenda was marked by an increased number of abstentions compared to the first year of its membership term. Gabon moved from voting in favor of the Iran resolution to an abstention, and it abstained on resolutions on Sri Lanka, North Korea and Iran as it had in 2013. Gabon also abstained on a new resolution on Ukraine. Gabon supported all resolutions on Syria as well as the resolution renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Belarus. Gabon voted in favor of all resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories (OPT), with the exception of the July 2014 special session resolution on the Gaza conflict, on which it abstained.
While Gabon’s large number of abstentions may be in part explained by a cautious stance during its chairmanship of the Council, Gabon should instead have recognized that as a leader in the Council it was all the more important for it to support fulfillment of the Council’s full mandate, including on country situations.
Gabon co-sponsored only those resolutions put forward by the African Group and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to which it belongs. It seldom intervened during country specific debates of the Council, only addressing the crisis in the Central African Republic on two occasions. On a positive note, however, Gabon supported the convening of all three special sessions held by the Council in 2014.
After chairing the Council in 2014, Gabon should engage more fully on the full range of important issues debated at the Council in this year, including country situations. In particular, it should translate its commitment to the Council by taking a position on each resolution, depending on the merits, the gravity of the situation and the need of victims – instead of casting abstentions. It should also be more visible and more vocal during country specific debates at the Council..
Voting record in 2014
Support for key joint statements in 2014
Gabon's ambassador, Baudelaire Ndong Ella, was elected to serve as the Human Rights Council's president during the 2014 cycle. As a new member in 2013, Gabon’s record of support for the Council's action on country-specific situations was relatively positive, but it could further strengthen its engagement.
Gabon supported the Council’s resolutions on Iran and Belarus, but it did not take part in the vote on Sri Lanka. Gabon supported all the resolutions on Syria, with the exception of the resolution that focused on Syria's failure to cooperate with the commission of inquiry on which it abstained.
Gabon 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.
Gabon did not sign the joint statement calling for the Syrian case to be referred to the ICC and did not either support the joint statement regarding human rights violations in Bahrain.
In 2013 Gabon co-sponsored 10 country-specific resolutions, all of them focusing on situations in African countries under agenda item 10 on technical cooperation. All of Gabon's interventions in the country-specific debates of the Council in 2013 were made in its capacity as the then-coordinator of the African Group.
Gabon’s engagement on country-situations at the
Council would be enhanced by broadening its support for country-specific
resolutions and statements, as well as co-sponsoring some of the item 4 country resolutions and engaging in country-specific debates of the
Council in its national capacity.