Since joining the Human Rights Council in 2013 Ireland has been among the strongest supporters of the Council’s mandate to address country situations, as reflected in its voting record and support for joint statements. Ireland could adopt a more prominent role by leading initiatives focused on country-specific situations.

2015 Voting Record

2014 Analysis

Ireland 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.

Along with the rest of the EU, Ireland voted in favor of four of the six 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.

Ireland surpassed all other countries in co-sponsoring the highest number of country resolutions at the Council in 2014. Its engagement record includes co-sponsoring resolutions under all agenda items, including three of the resolutions addressing the situation in the OPT. Ireland also supported the calls to convene the special sessions on the Central African Republic and on Iraq. It participated actively in almost all country specific-debates held at the Council, and in 2014, Ireland was the only European Union member to participate in several of the Council’s oral debates dedicated to the situation in Palestine and the OPT under Item 7.

Ireland enjoys a solid reputation of being non-selective in its approach to country situations, which puts it in a unique position to address accusations of double-standards in the Council. Although Ireland is one of the most principled Council members, and despite its leadership on a number of important thematic issues, it fell short of demonstrating sufficient resolve to ensure the Council addresses new emerging or chronic situations of abuses.

Ireland should not limit its action to supporting initiatives championed by others, but instead should mobilize action on situations that are not yet addressed at the Council, such as the situation of concern in Egypt.

Voting record in 2014

Support for key joint statements in 2014

Ireland supported all country-specific resolutions that were put to the vote in 2013 under agenda items 2 and 4. Ireland also signed the joint statement calling for the Syrian case to be referred to the ICC, and the joint statements expressing concern on the human rights situation of Bahrain. 

In its oral interventions as well as in statements made on behalf of the European Union during its EU presidency, Ireland drew attention to a broad range of country situations. In 2013 Ireland co-sponsored 24 country resolutions under agenda items 2, 4, 7 and 10.

Ireland 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.

Ireland's strong reputation for impartiality and objectivity and its excellent human rights team place it in a strong position to play a more active leadership role in mobilizing the Council to respond to situations that have not yet been addressed.

Voting record in 2013

Support for key joint statements in 2013