Joint Statement Delivered by Bahrain to the UN Human Rights Council on L.10.Rev.1

“Elimination of discrimination against women and girls in sport”


HRC Member States Disassociating: Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Somalia, Qatar, Iraq, Eritrea, Cameroon, Bahamas, Rwanda, Senegal, and Togo


(Note: These States represent over  one-third of the UN Human Rights Council Member States).


Observer States Disassociating: Russian Federation, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Ethiopia


HRC40 Statement Text Delivered by Bahrain on March 22, 2019


Thank you, Mr. President,


I am delivering this statement in explanation of vote on behalf of 15 members of the Council, five Observer States and my own country, the Kingdom of Bahrain.


At the outset, we once again wish to emphasize the utmost priority that our governments place on preventing and eliminating all forms of discrimination against women and girls, be it on the basis of race, sex or any other grounds, and we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the protection and promotion of their human rights in all areas of life, including in sport.


While we acknowledge that this is a topic that certainly deserves the attention of the Council, we are particularly disappointed that the main sponsor has decided to pursue this initiative despite the numerous recommendations to postpone its consideration, based in particular on procedural and institutional reasons.


We regret that this draft resolution was circulated only three days prior to the deadline for the submission of draft proposals and that only one round of informal consultations had taken place. The complex and multi-faceted nature of the question of discrimination against women and girls in sport would have required much more time to carry out the necessary consultations and negotiations, as well as the adequate involvement of all the relevant stakeholders. Inevitably, this has prevented our delegations from engaging in substantive discussions regarding the proposal and led us to reserve our positions on the text as a whole, both before and after its tabling.


Finally, and most importantly, we wish to underline that the adoption of this resolution may influence a legal action currently pending before an independent arbitral institution. While we believe sporting institutions must always uphold human rights principles, we share concerns that action taken by this council may jeopardise the autonomy of international sporting institutions who, themselves, pursue the course of justice within an independent judicial body as well as on the management, rules and regulations of international sports.


Mr. President,


For the above reasons, our delegations cannot participate in any way on the action on draft resolution L.10 Rev.1, and hereby disassociate ourselves from the text as a whole.


We request that our explanation be reflected in the record of this meeting.


I thank you.