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Statement by H.E. Henry Mac Donald on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at the Informal Consultations on the review of the Human Rights Council
29 March 2011 / 09:17

The Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), on whose behalf I am honoured to intervene today, thank the co-facilitators for convening this meeting and for guiding the discussions of the New York Chapter of the mandated review of the Human Rights Council.


In keeping with OP 1 of resolution 60/251, CARICOM is of the view that the exercise of the review of the Human Rights Council does not entail an overhaul or reform of the Council. We have to build on the positive experiences and address remaining challenges to the functioning of the Council.

CARICOM therefore shares the views expressed by the distinguished representative of Cuba who spoke on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

CARICOM countries, the majority of which are not represented in Geneva, welcome the close coordination and coherence between the review processes in Geneva and New York. The process here in New York therefore provides us an opportunity to contribute to the discussions on the review of the Council.

In this regard please allow me to highlight the following aspects:


  •  CARICOM is in favour of maintaining the current status of the Council as a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly. The Council has functioned relatively well since its establishment as a subsidiary organ and we are of the view that we should focus this exercise of the review on the remaining challenges for the Council to optimize its functioning.



  •  Relationship between the HRC and the General Assembly, in particular the General Assembly; CARICOM favours to convert the current ad hoc practice of the General Committee into standard practice. Small states, like those from the Caribbean region are not or underrepresented in Geneva and therefore not in the opportunity to participate in the discussions in the Council. The General Assembly (the parent body), and in this regard the third committee, with its universal membership, are viewed by CARICOM as the appropriate forum to discuss the recommendations of the Council on its merits and take a subsequent decision.



  •  We do not support the view that the recommendations of the Council be considered automatically by the General Assembly given the nature of the Council as a subsidiary organ of the GA. This would alter the status of the Council.



  •  Given our previously held view that we would want to discuss each resolution on its merit, CARICOM supports that resolutions are adopted individually instead of collectively.


  •  CARICOM is of the view that the criteria as stipulated in resolution 60/251 are suffice to determine membership in the Council and therefore there is no need to amend the criteria for membership in the Council.


  •  While alignment of the cycle of the Human Rights Council with the calendar year or other option may seem acceptable, CARICOM is reluctant to accept this idea because it would require an amendment of 60/251.This resolution was carefully negotiated after many months of debates and discussions. At the adoption of the resolution CARICOM had indicated that many compromises and concessions were made. Amending the resolution therefore would seriously alter the balance and compromise reached at the establishment of the Council.


In closing CARICOM will continue to participate actively in the discussions of the review of the Human Rights Council as it had done at the initial debate of reform of the human rights machinery and more specifically the establishment of this Council.
I thank u.