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UNHRC to Hold Special Session on Afghanistan Backed by Prominent Countries Including India

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The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will hold a special session, August 24, to address the “serious human rights concerns and situation in Afghanistan”.

The session is being convened with the support of 60 Observer States so far, including France, India, Japan, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. This will be the thirty-first special session of the Council.

In order for a special session to be convened, the support of one-third of the 47 members of the Council – 16 or more – is required. The request was supported thus far by the following States Members of the Council (29): Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Czechia, Denmark, France, Gabon, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Libya, Mauritania, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan.

The request was also supported thus far by the following observer States (60): Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Benin, Brunei Darussalam, Chad, Comoros, Croatia, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Gambia, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and the State of Palestine.

The list of signatories remains open up to the holding of the special session. Therefore, the above list of States is to be considered provisional.

The special session will take place in a hybrid format in Room XX of the Palais des Nations. It will start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 24 August. The meeting will be webcast live in six United Nations languages. Due to COVID-19 measures, the majority of interventions will be delivered online; the media is therefore encouraged to follow the meeting on the webcast.

In connection with this special session, the Council will convene an organizational meeting on Monday, 23 August when specific details on the special session and its scenario will be announced. This meeting is also public and will be webcast.

The special session is being convened following an official request submitted on August 17 jointly by Pakistan, the Coordinator of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Afghanistan, which has been supported by 89 States thus far.

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