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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Special Report by WFUNA: Human Rights Commission begins its 13th Session with High-Level Segment

The Human Rights Council opened its 13th Session High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in her opening statement said that in order to counter deeply-rooted and chronic human rights conditions in many countries, five years ago the UN had initiated a process of reform that proposed several innovations including the creation of the Human Rights Council to replace the Commission. The Council is a conceived forum where responses to inequality, repression and impunity can be crafted and advocated to build a world in larger freedom. The High Commissioner's view of the Council would help the international community to assess whether the fundamental principles of this body's mandate had been solidly and consistently upheld. on 1 March 2010, hearing from 17 high-level dignitaries. The

In the afternoon, the Session heard statements from six dignitaries under its High-Level Segment and then held a high-level panel discussion on the impact of the global economic and financial crisis on the effective enjoyment of all human rights.

On 2 March 2010, the Council continued its high-level segment. Statements were heard from the Philippines, Switzerland, the UK, Vietnam, Korea and Serbia. This was followed by a panel discussion on the draft declaration on Human Rights, Education and Training.

In the afternoon of 2 March, the high-level segment continued, hearing from another 14 dignitaries who raised a number of issues such as the 2011 Review of the Council and its mechanisms and what it should focus on, as well as the lack of progress on the elimination of racism around the world, and who highlighted national efforts to promote and protect human rights.

On 3 March, the Council continued with hearing addresses by 13 dignitaries who outlined a number of human rights issues that required ongoing attention from the Council, such as racism and poverty, aggravated by the financial and economic crises, continued violations of the rights of women and girls, including female genital mutilation, human rights education and training, and the interplay between freedom of expression and new media and technology

The afternoon of 3 March saw the conclusion of the HRC High-Level Segment, hearing addresses by countries highlighting the measures they had undertaken to improve the human rights situation at a national level. The Council then began its General Segment, during which Member States' representatives expressed their views on the Council's achievements and highlighted their priorities in the context of the upcoming five-year review of the Council's functioning.


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