In a January 25, 2017 letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jordanian Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, requested that the Council defer its consideration of a report on a database of all companies that conduct business - directly or indirectly - relating to Israeli "settlements" in Arab-claimed territories. The creation of a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) blacklist was mandated in a March 2016 resolution of the UN Human Rights Council. The U.S. voted against the creation of the blacklist - which would affect American companies among others - but were overwhelmingly outvoted. The Council's human rights "authorities" include such states as Saudi Arabia, China, Qatar and Cuba. Also over U.S. and Israeli objection, the UN General Assembly - after the fact - approved spending $138,700 to create the database on December 23, 2016.
The March 2016 resolution calls for the list of companies intended to be blacklisted to be presented to the Council's session in March 2017. However, the High Commissioner's letter requests, "Bearing in mind the complexity of the requested report,...that the Council defers for one time only its consideration of my report... to allow for the submission of the report as soon as possible but no later than the end of December 2017. My request is based on the need for more time to carefully consider the inputs submitted in relation to the open call for submissions..."
However, the executive or "bureau" of the Human Rights Council declined to support the High Commissioner's request. Instead, on January 31, 2017, they agreed to put his letter before a Human Rights Council meeting on February 13, 2017 specifically "with the purpose of taking a decision on the High Commissioner's request."