Dear friends,

We are glad to inform you that after our pleasant experience with the Italian blog, the IIMA Human Rights Office has decided to open a new blog in English.

On this blog, you may follow our main activities with the United Nations and its mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights, as well as news from the UN bodies and IIMA offices in different countries related to the right to education.

Do you want to collaborate with us? You can apply for an internship at the IIMA Human Rights Office. Click here!

Have a great time reading!


Visit of the General Mother

The Salesian community in Veyrier and the IIMA Human Rights Office joyfully welcomed Sister Yvonne Reungoat, the Superior Mother General of the Salesian Sisters, from March 3rd through 6th, 2013.

During her visit, Mother Yvonne took part in the second week of the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. She observed presentations from several Special Rapporteurs: Olivier De Schulter, Special Rapporteur on Right to Food, Raquel Rolnik, Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Juan Mendez, Special Rapporteur on Torture, and Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders.  

Afterwards, she had the opportunity to witness the interactive dialogue among States on the treatment of human rights defenders and torture, and listened to presentations from Special Procedures mandate-holders on key human rights violations such as some counter-terrorism efforts and arbitrary detention.

Several one-on-one meetings with UN Member States Representatives were organized. Mother Yvonne met the Ambassador of France to the United Nations in Geneva, Mr. Nicolas Niemtchinow and the Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See, Mons. Silvano Tomasi. She met also the Ambassador of Uruguay, Laura Dupuy Lasserre, who was the President of the Human Rights Council in 2012.

Moreover, her presence in the Salesian house of Veyrier was a wonderful addition to the life of the community, including the sisters and volunteers. Mother Yvonne Reungoat expressed her hope that the life in community might be “a special occasion for reflection on how we can nourish a strong atmosphere of witness and a culture of vocation which might help the young to find their own life plan and live it to the fullest.”

On March 5, she spent the afternoon engaging with the community of “La Salesienne”, including students, teachers and staff, a moment of great joy for the whole community. That evening, during the Good Night, she reflected on the importance of relationships and simple acts, even a smile, to convey confidence and growth in a stimulating environment such as the Salesian community.

On Wednesday, 6th of March Mother Yvonne visited IIMA Human Rights Office and observe some of its work supporting the human rights work of the Congregation. The 5 years of the IIMA Human Rights Office’s work, have been truly enriching for everyone: staff and volunteers have had the chance to better understand the Salesian Sisters’ commitment to children and youth worldwide.

Mother Yvonne, a gift for the whole community, has been a true "Mother" during her visit, sharing the every moment of her day. She described her experience in Geneva as “a great opportunity” to better understand the functioning of several United Nations mechanisms and their role in international lawmaking. The IIMA and the community thank the Mother very much for the gift of her presence.

THANK YOU, Mother Yvonne!

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