The UN Human Rights Council held its forty-sixth regular session virtually from 22 February to 24 March 2021

High-Level Segment

The HRC 46 began with a High-Level Segment which consisted of speeches by 130 States and other dignitaries including the Human Rights Council President, the President of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Global Update and Report on the impact of COVID-19 on human rights

Following the HLS, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights updated Council members on the situation of human rights worldwide, the activities of her Office, and presented her report on the human rights impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as mandated by the presidential statement adopted in May 2020.

Thematic discussions

The Council discussed a variety of issues through dedicated debates with Special Procedure mandate holders, several NHRIs participated in the dialogues via video statements, including with the:

  1. Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  2. Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders where the Defensoria del Pueblo of Peru delivered a video statement on the country mission report.
  3. Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities where theCanadian Human Rights Commission delivered a video statement on behalf of the GANHRI WG on disabilities.

In addition, the Council held seven panel discussions, including the Annual full-day Discussion on the Rights of the Child and the Sustainable Development Goals and the Annual Debate on the Rights of persons with disabilities and their participation in sports. Video statements were delivered on behalf of the GANHRI Working Group on SDGs and the GANHRI Working Group on Disabilities, accordingly.

A total of 15 NHRIs delivered pre-recorded video statements under different agenda items during the session. Please see the table below for more information.

Our Statements

During this session, GANHRI delivered two statements focused on climate change and human rights defenders, key priorities in the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan:

The statement on climate change reaffirmed the vital role of NHRIs in tackling climate change and how they have developed a practical set of strategies to apply to their mandates and functions to promote and protect human rights.

GANHRI also highlighted the vital contributions given by UN treaty bodies in further elaborating on the obligations of States to respect and fulfill human rights in the context of climate change alongside with the advisory role that NHRIs carry at a national level.

“We are encouraged that the Secretary General’s Call to Action includes a focus on supporting and building the capacity of NHRIs, and look forward to the UN’s ongoing support to NHRIs worldwide in collaboration with GANHRI.”

Read full statement here

In response to the report presented at HRC46 by the Special Rapporteur on Human rights Defenders, GANHRI delivered a statement underlying the commitment of NHRIs in protecting civic space and promoting and building cooperative partnerships with Human Rights Defenders (HRDs).

States must meet their obligations to ensure that no human rights defenders are killed for their work” affirms Ali Bin Samikh Al-Marri GANHRI’s Secretary during the statement.

Strong and independent NHRIs themselves are HRDs which require protection, and we support the Special Rapporteur’s call on States to adequately resource NHRIs, as they have an important role to ensure effective monitoring and reporting on the implementation of State human rights obligations, as well as responsibilities of non-State actors, including businesses.

Read full statement here

Country specific situations

The HRC addressed serious country specific situations including in Venezuela, Burundi, South Sudan and Syria.

Adoption of UPR reports

The Council adopted the UPR Working Group reports on Andorra, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Honduras, Jamaica, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Panama, and the United States of America.

The NHRIs of Bulgaria, Mongolia and Panama delivered pre-recorded video statement on the adoption of the reports.


Members of the Council adopted 31 resolutions, 16 of those were adopted by consensus including the new resolution submitted by Ecuador and Azerbaijan on Ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The remaining 15 resolutions were adopted by recorded vote.

The text of the resolutions can be found here.


Watch the HRC46 UN Webcast

HRC46 NHRIs Statements

[expand title=”General Segment”]

Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)
Speaker: Dr. Freddy Carrion Intriago, GANHRI Chairperson 



[expand title=”ITEM 3: ID with SR on Torture”]

National Human Rights Council of Morocco 
Speaker: Dr. Mohammed Benajiba  


Office of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia 
Speaker: Mr. Arman Tatoyan, Ombudsman 


[expand title=”Presentation of the Report on the third intersessional meeting on 2030 Agenda”]

Defensoria del Pueblo de la Nacion of Argentina
Speaker: Mr. Juan Jose Bockel

On behalf of the GANRHI WG on SDGs



[expand title=”ITEM 9: HC oral update on systemic racism (res.43/1)”]

Office of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia 
Speaker: Mr. Arman Tatoyan

Download [/expand]

[expand title=”Biennial High Level panel discussion on the death penalty”]

Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
Speaker: Commissioner Karen S. Gomez Dumpit


National Human Rights Council of Morocco
Speaker: Ms. Amina Bouayach  



[expand title=”ITEM 3: ID with SR on disabilities”]

Canadian Human Rights Commission 
Speaker: Ms. Marie-Claude Landry.

On behalf of the GANHRI Working Group on Disabilities



[expand title=”ITEM 3: SG Annual report on the question of the realisation in all countries of economic, social and cultural rights (A/HRC/46/43)”]

National Human Rights Commission of India
Speaker: Justice Shri P.C. Pant


[expand title=”ITEM 10: Technical assistance and capacity building”]

ID on HC report on Ukraine 

Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights 
Speaker: Ms. Liudmyla Denisova

HC Country Report on Afghanistan  

Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission
Speaker: Ms. Shaharzad Akbar



[expand title=”ITEM 6: UPR Outcomes”]

UPR Outcome Bulgaria 

The Ombudsman of Bulgaria
Speaker: Ms. Diana Kovatcheva

UPR Outcome Mongolia

National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia
Speaker: Mr. Khunan Jargalsaikhan

UPR Outcome Panama 

Defensoría del Pueblo de la República de Panamá 
Speaker: Mr. Eduardo Leblanc Gonzalez


[expand title=”ITEM 3: ID with SR on human rights defenders”]

Defensoria del Pueblo de Peru
Speaker: Mr. Percy Castillo Torres

Country Mission Report


Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)
Speaker: Dr. Ali Al-Marri, GANHRI Secretary



[expand title=”ITEM 3: ID with SRSG on children and armed conflict”]

National Human Rights Council of Morocco
Speaker: Ms. Zhour El Hour



[expand title=”ITEM 7: High Commissioner and Secretary General Reports”]

Independent Commission for Human Rights of the State of Palestine
Speaker: Mr. Issam Younis



[expand title=”Annual Full-Day Discussions”]

High Level mainstreaming panel +20th Anniversary of Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

National Commission on Human Rights of Indonesia – Komnas HAM
Speaker: Mr. Ahmad Taufan Damanik

Annual Meeting on the Rights of the Child 

Defensoria del Pueblo de la Nacion of Argentina
Speaker: Mr. Juan Jose Bockel

On behalf of the GANRHI WG on SDGs


Annual Debate: Right of persons with disabilities (res. 7/9, 37/22) 

National Human Rights Council of Morocco
Speaker: Ms. Amina Bouayach, Chairperson


New Zealand Human Rights Commission 
Speaker: Commissioner Paula Tesoriero

On behalf of the GANRHI WG on Disabilities