The United Nations Human Rights Council concluded its 49th session on Friday April 1 by adopting important resolutions on South Sudan, Syria, Iran, Belarus, Myanmar and human rights defenders. man, among many other pressing issues.

At the start of the session, the Foreign Secretary delivered the UK National Statement, in which she condemned Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. I welcome the establishment by the Council of a commission of inquiry to investigate Russian actions in Ukraine, which will play a key role in documenting and drawing international attention to violations and abuses of human rights. most serious human rights, and ensuring accountability. I also welcome the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to suspend Russia’s membership of the Human Rights Council – it is inadmissible for Russia to remain a member while evidence continues to emerge of egregious acts committed by the invading Russian forces in towns like Irpin and Bucha. The UK stands with the people of Ukraine and once again calls on Russia to end its war and withdraw its troops.

I welcome the Council’s adoption of the resolution on South Sudan. The renewal of the mandate of the Human Rights Commission in South Sudan is a strong signal of support from the international community to assist South Sudan and address serious human rights concerns. Comprehensive monitoring and reporting is an important part of the country’s path to reconciliation, especially in the run-up to possible elections. I urge South Sudan to continue its cooperation with the Commission and to work with the international community to help end the suffering of the people of South Sudan.

This month marks the 11th anniversary of the Syrian conflict. It is deplorable that the Assad regime continues this brutal assault on its own people. I am glad that the Council has once again adopted the resolution on Syria. The resolution highlights the latest findings of the commission of inquiry, confirming more than a decade of appalling atrocities, including enforced disappearances, torture and sexual violence. It is right that the resolution instructs the Commission to continue to assess human rights concerns. We must not forget the plight of the Syrian people.

The human rights situation in Iran remains worrying. The UK remains deeply concerned about the increase in executions, high rates of forced child marriage and the excessive use of violence against peaceful protesters. We are working closely with the United States to secure the permanent release of Morad Tahbaz and his departure from Iran. It remains within Iran’s gift to release all unjustly detained British nationals. I welcome the renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, which testifies to the continued commitment of the international community to guarantee respect for inalienable human rights. Iran should now authorize a mission to the country of the Special Rapporteur to enable him to carry out his mandate.

I am glad that the Council has once again adopted a resolution on Myanmar. The resolution rightly condemns last February’s coup in the strongest terms. It highlights the serious deterioration of the human rights environment, including human rights violations against the Rohingya and other minorities. We continue to stand with the people of Myanmar and call for an end to violations and abuses.

I welcome the adoption of the resolution on the human rights situation in Belarus. While he has rightly faced widespread condemnation for his support for Russia’s unprovoked and premeditated invasion of Ukraine, it is important that the international community also continues to hold Lukashenka and his regime accountable. human rights violations perpetrated daily against the people of Belarus.

Human rights defenders play a crucial role in society, often at the risk of their lives. The UK welcomes the resolution on human rights defenders and its reinforcement that they should be treated as civilians and protected in conflict scenarios. Unfortunately, this role is not universally respected and the treatment of women human rights defenders working in peace and security is of particular concern.

I also welcome the renewal of the mandates of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK and the adoption of the resolution on the promotion and protection of human rights in Nicaragua and technical cooperation with Georgia.

The Human Rights Council continues to play a vital role in the promotion of human rights. The UK remains firmly committed to supporting the Council and the wider international community in upholding human rights and holding those who violate or abuse them accountable.