Colloquium 2005 | Ljubjana

On 12-13 October 2005, governmental representatives from 24 countries gathered at the Castle Brdo in Ljubjana, Slovenia, at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of Slovenia, for the twenty-eighth annual colloquium on human rights policy.

Colloquium 2005 | Ljubjana, Slovenia | Agenda
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Aims and Objectives of the Reform

  • To what extent will the outcome of the September Summit, the proposals of the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, and NGOs correct the so-called “credibility deficit”?
  • How does system-wide human rights reform fit within the High Commissioner’s “Plan of Action: Protection and Empowerment” (May 2005)?

Modalities of the Human Rights Council

  • How can the new Council operate to ensure that the positive aspects of the Commission on Human Rights are continued and the negative aspects are eliminated?
  • What are the relative advantages of limiting membership (to approximately 25), maintaining the same size as the Commission (53), and opening the Council to universal membership?
  • What qualitative and geographic criteria for selection of members are desirable and politically feasible?
  • What is the preferred voting procedure for selection?

Mandate of the Human Rights Council

  • Will the Special Procedures of the Commission be strengthened or weakened under the authority of the Council?
  • What advice should be given to the High Commissioner for the preparation of a world report on the state of human rights?
  • What improvement can be made in NGO access to the Council while maintaining the same level of access NGOs presently have to the Commission?

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Problems Relating to International Criminal Tribunals for the Prosecution of Violations of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

  • What are the implications for foreign policy of the winding down of the ICTY and ICTR?
  • Can the ICC survive pressure against the exercise of its jurisdiction?
  • What impact will implementation of Security Council resolution 1593, which refers the violations in Darfur to the International Criminal Court, have for the prospects for peace in the region?

Issues of Prosecutions before Domestic Jurisdictions

  • What are the foreign policy implications of international participation (or lack thereof) in the upcoming trial in Phnom Penh (of the remaining Khmer Rouge leaders)?
  • Should the international community have a role in the trial of Saddam Hussein and, if so, what form should it take?
  • What lessons can we take from the experience of the Special Court for Sierra Leone?

Impunity and Compensation for Victims of Violations of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

  • What is the political future and potential utility of the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation (Commission Resolution 2004/34: van Boven/Bassiouni principles)?
  • What can be done about major cases of impunity, such as Srebrenica?
  • What are the prospects for implementing the new mechanism established by the Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005) relating to recruitment and use of child soldiers by parties to armed conflict? Will this case affect rules of complementarity?

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Human Rights Issues in Response to Recent Acts of Terrorism

  • Is it politically wise or practically feasible to link prevention of terrorism to poverty reduction and promotion of democracy in countries known to produce terrorists?
  • Are there any “best practices” to be promoted regarding the balance between intelligence-gathering and apprehending potential terrorists and respecting human rights and religious sensibilities of Muslim citizens or visitors?

The Work of the Special Rapporteur on Terrorism

  • What can be expected from the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (Commission Resolution 2005/80)?
  • How useful is the preliminary framework draft of principles and guidelines concerning human rights and terrorism, presented to the Sub-Commission by Kalliopi K. Koufa (UN Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/2005/39)?
  • What human rights issues should be emphasized in developing cooperation with the UN Counter-terrorism Committee and its Directorate, the Resolution 1267 Committee, and the UN Terrorism Prevention Branch?

Cooperation with Islamic States and States with Significant Islamic Minorities

  • How can effective dialogues be established between countries fighting terrorism, on the one hand, and Islamic countries and the OIC on the other?
  • How can the message be effectively communicated to the public that terrorism is the result of desperate and criminal efforts to alter policies of targeted countries using the distortion of Islamic beliefs and teachings rather than a result of those beliefs and teachings?

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Accomplishments and Insights of the Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Education

  • How adequate is the normative framework of the “four A’s” in understanding the meaning of the right to education (availability; accessibility, including non-discrimination, physical and economic accessibility; acceptability; and adaptability) as set ou in General Comment 13 (UN Doc. No. E/C.12/1999/10, CESCR)?
  • What advice can be given to the current Special Rapporteur (Vernor Munoz Villalobos of Costa Rica) regarding the implementation of his mandate as set out in Commission Resolution 1998/33 of 17 April 1998?
  • What changes might be proposed in the mandate?

The UN World Programme for Human Rights Education (GA Resolution 59/113 and Commission Resolution 2005/61)

  • Does the first phase (2005-07) of the World Programme plan of action (UN Doc. A/59/525/Rev.1) have any impact on primary and secondary education and does it meet the expectations of Member States?
  • What should be the focus of the next phases of the World Programme?
  • What should be done to improve cooperation among UNESCO, UNICEF, OHCHR and bilateral programs to achieve the objective of Commission and OA resolutions on human rights education?

Education of Women and Girls

  • What are the human rights aspects of Millennium Development Goals 2 (Achieve universal primary education) and 3 (Promote gender equality and empower women) and how can they be taken into account in efforts to achieve the MDGs?
  • How can the Optional Protocol to CEDAW be used to advance the education of women and girls?

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