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!


Human Rights Council Session : Week 1 (Sept. 13-16)

On September 13, the Human Rights Council (HRC) opened its 33rd regular session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.   HRC President CHOI Kyong-lim presided over the opening of the session which will take place in the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room (also known as Room XX) from September 13-30.

Room XX was filled with Member States delegates, civil society observers, and NGO representatives who were electrified from the outset by the opening statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.  The tone of his statement was a change from the past as he used strong words to convey his concerns at how human rights mechanisms were being obstructed, interefered with, and politicized by the Member States in contravention of their human rights responsibilities. Over 20 States accross the world were singled out by the High Commissioner over various human rights concerns.  General debate between the Member States was reserved for the next day during which time States lobbed accusations, defended their policies, or supported the HCHR for his remarks.

During the remainder of the week, over 10 topics were addressed to the HRC by independent experts and special rapporterus on special issues such as, water and sanitation, enforced disappearances, contemporary forms of slavery, hazardous wastes, and unilateral coercive measures, to name a few.  The High-Level Panel Discussion on the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training was of particular signficance as it marked its 5th anniversary.  High level representatives from Morocco, Canada, Brazil, Slovakia, and Costa Rica delivered their statements on the importance of human rights education.  In addition, the panel presented a 5-minute screening of the HCHR documentary, A Path to Dignity : The Power of Human Rights Education, that captivated the essence and objective of human rights education.

The week ended with general debate and interactive dialogue on the Right to Development and other thematic reports of importance to the Council.  Week two of the HRC Session will be marked by another electrifying start as the Council will hear the report on the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.

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