The United Nations has called on the U.S. and others to put an end to secret detention policies and human rights abuses in their “war on terrorism”, IDN reports. Read more
UN meeting coverage:
Acting without a vote on the recommendations of its Sixth (Legal) Committee, the General Assembly this morning adopted 15 resolutions and two decisions on issues ranging from international terrorism to the rule of law, as it also adopted a text on assistance to the Palestinian people and continued its consideration of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Read more
International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) issues a summary on the recent panel discussion held at the UN on the occasion of International Human Rights Day. The theme of the discussion was “Opposing grave human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity”.
Here’s an excerpt of the summary:
[...] The panel, held at UN Headquarters in New York, was organised with the assistance of a coalition of NGOs defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. It provided an informal means of following up on the historic statement on ‘human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity’ that Argentina delivered at last year’s General Assembly on behalf of 66 States. Some States also used the panel discussion as an opportunity to follow up on the counter-statement Syria delivered on behalf of 57 States. [...]
It was notable that the US made a strong positive statement, given that it was only after the Obama Administration took office that the US belatedly endorsed the 2008 GA statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. The US commented that this issue had been neglected by the UN for too long, and there were a range of protections in the UDHR and other legal instruments that required States to protect the human rights of all people. These instruments obligated States to ensure no person was subject to torture, cruel or degrading treatment, arbitrary arrest or other human rights violations. The US acknowledged that some States were uncomfortable talking about these issues, but compared the suggestion that the panel discussion promoted homosexuality, with the distorted view that CEDAW somehow promoted discrimination against women. [...]
More here from ISHR.
- ICJ Practitioner’s Guide Series: “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and International Human Rights Law”. 2009.
Jacqueline Shire from Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) discusses “America’s new approach to the UN” on Bloggingheads with reporter Matthew Lee from Inner City Press, the unofficial required reading for diplomats at UN Headquarters in New York.
Panel discussion on “Opposing grave human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity” (co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden)
Thursday, 10 December 2009, from 1.15 to 2.30 p.m. in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.
[All are invited to attend. For further information, please contact Ms. Lisa Edblom, Permanent Mission of Sweden (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; tel. 1 (646) 652-3677; or Ms. Sara Perle (e-mail email@example.com; tel. 1 (212) 430-6015).]
Special event on “Race, poverty and power” (on the occasion of Human Rights Day 2009 on the theme “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”) (organized by the New York Office of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)
Thursday, 10 December 2009, from 1.15 to 2.30 p.m. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.
[All are invited to attend. For further information, please visit the following Web site: www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/HumanRightsDay2009.aspx; or contact
the New York Office of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (tel. 1 (212) 963-5931).]
From the UN News Centre:
Top officials of the United Nations war crimes tribunals today called for Serbia’s “critical” cooperation in capturing the two remaining top fugitives accused of atrocities in the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s and denounced Kenya for failing to cooperate in the case of a major suspect in the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
“The arrest of Ratko Mladic [Bosnian Serb military chief in Bosnia and Herzegovina] and the other remaining fugitive [Serb politician] Goran Hadžic remains one of my office’s foremost priorities,” International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Prosecutor Serge Brammertz told the Security Council, noting progress in Serbia’s cooperation in providing more effective access to documents. [...]
In a press conference Friday afternoon on the previous day’s 114 votes in favour of the resolution on follow-up to the report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, General Assembly President Ali Abdussalam Treki said there was, in the final analysis, great support for the text. Read more
The U.N. General Assembly met for the second day to take up the Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict. The General Assembly today voted on and adopted the draft resolution on the Follow-up to the report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (document A/64/L.11), which affirmed that all Parties had the responsibility to respect international humanitarian law, and underscored the importance of safety for all civilians, notably those in armed conflict. The resolution endorsed the Human Rights Council Report adopted at its Twelfth Special Session, and requested the Secretary-General to transmit the Report to the Security Council. It urged Israel, within three months, to undertake independent investigations into violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, towards ensuring accountability and justice. Read more
Opening its forty-third session in Geneva on 2 November, the Committee Against Torture was briefed by a representative of the Secretary-General, Ibrahim Salama, Chief of the Human Rights and Treaty Branch of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Read more
The Sixth Committee (Legal) of the U.N. General Assembly began work on issues of extradition and durability of treaties, as it continued its consideration of the report of the International Law Commission. Read more