The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has extended the mandate of UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Frank La Rue, for another three years.
The Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a further period of three years by resolution A/HRC/25/L.2/Rev.1, adopted on March 27, 2014 without a vote. The Council urged all States to cooperate fully with and assist the Special Rapporteur in the performance of his tasks, provide all necessary information requested by him and to consider favorably his requests for visits and for implementing his recommendations.
The Council welcomed the work of the Special Rapporteur and requested the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, to provide the assistance necessary for him to fulfill his mandate, particularly by placing adequate human and material resources at his disposal.
It also asked the Special Rapporteur to submit an annual report to the Council and to the UN General Assembly covering all activities relating to his mandate, with a view to maximizing the benefits of the reporting process. The Council decided to continue its consideration of the issue of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in accordance with its programme of work.
The United States, which introduced the draft resolution that was finally adopted, had noted that given the importance of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the resolution recognized that the effective exercise of the right was a critical component for the enjoyment of other human rights and fundamental freedoms, and constituted a fundamental pillar of any democratic society.
Supporting the resolution, Italy, which spoke in a general comment on behalf of the European Union, commended the United States for its “transparent negotiations on this very important resolution”. It noted that freedom of opinion and expression represented one of the European Union’s priorities and was indispensable for individuals’ dignity and fulfillment, adding that it also constitutes a pillar of democracy, rule of law, and peace and stability.
Italy said that States had the obligation to protect and promote freedom of opinion and expression as a prerequisite for the enjoyment of other human rights. Italy said the European Union fully supported the mandate of the Special Rapporteur and its renewal.