has demonstrated an unpredictable approach to country situations at the Human
Rights Council, and its voting record is among the poorest of member states.
2015 Voting Record
Throughout 2014 Kazakhstan proved to be among the most passive members of the Human Rights Council when it came to addressing country situations. Though it voted in favor of the resolution on North Korea, Kazakhstan otherwise showed a lack of interest in country action. It abstained on all the resolutions on Sri Lanka, Syria and Ukraine, and regrettably shifted its approach to Iran by opposing the resolution renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, even though it had not voted in 2013. Kazakhstan also endorsed a March 2014 joint declaration put forward by Saudi Arabia that backed the government crackdown in Egypt, despite the massive rights violations it entailed.
At the same time, Kazakhstan supported all resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.
The only time Kazakhstan intervened in a Council debate was in defense of Belarus’ poor human rights record. It co-sponsored the resolutions on Palestine and on the special session on Iraq, together with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to which it belongs. In contrast, it called for the three special sessions convened in 2014, including the session on the situation in the Central African Republic.
Kazakhstan should commit to fully implementing the Council’s mandate to address and prevent situations of violations, and base its positions on an assessment of the situation on the ground, the needs of victims, and the international obligations of the government concerned.
Voting record in 2014
Support for key joint statements in 2014
Kazakhstan played a bystander role in the Council’s consideration of country situations. Kazakhstan abstained on a majority of country issues put to the vote including on Sri Lanka and Syria. Kazakhstan did not vote on the Iran resolution and the Syria resolution that addressed the killings in the city of Al Qusayr. Kazakhstan voted against the resolution on Belarus.
Kazakhstan did vote in favor of all the resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, denoting a level of selectivity in its approach.
Kazakhstan did not join any of the joint statements made at the Council on the human rights situation in Bahrain or on the referral by the Security Council of the Syrian case to the ICC. It was one of only 10 states that did not co-sponsor any country-specific resolutions in 2013.
Kazakhstan could improve its engagement at the
Council in many ways, including through more active participation in the
debates on country situations.