joined the Human Rights Council in 2014, it has abstained on all
country-specific resolutions, except those dealing with Palestine, which it
Voting Record in 2016
Voting Record in 2015
When Namibia joined the Human Rights Council, many hoped that it would contribute helpfully to various debates at the Council, including during UPR reviews of other countries. During the first year of its membership, however, Namibia was one of a few countries in the African Group that consistently abstained on all resolutions under agenda items 2, 4 and 10. Unfortunately Namibia supported a no-action motion presented by Pakistan to adjourn the substantive debate on the Sri Lanka resolution, a procedural move that is anathema to the Council’s mandate of addressing situations of concern.
In contrast to its position abstaining on resolutions involving Syria, Sri Lanka, North Korea, Iran and Belarus, Namibia supported all resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories (OPT). This approach raises serious questions about double standards and selectivity.
Namibia co-sponsored all resolutions on Palestine and the occupied Arab territories, in addition to those sponsored by its regional group. It also supported the convening of special sessions on the Central African Republic in January 2014 and on the Gaza conflict in July 2014. Namibia rarely intervened during the Council’s debate on country situations.
Namibia’s contribution to the Council could be improved by expanding its oral contributions to debates addressing country situations. Namibia should end its practice of systematically abstaining on country resolutions, and instead should commit to fully implementing the Council’s mandate to address situations of violations. It should base its positions on an objective case-by-case assessment of the violations committed on the ground and the international obligations of the government concerned.