Monday, March 22, 2010

Background Brief on the 13th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva

source: Republic of Botswana (14/3/10) TAUTONA TIMES no 4 of 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"


With reference to the just forwarded statement by the Statement by the Minister for Defence, Justice and Security at the High Level Segment of the 13th Session of the Human Rights Council [B2], the following is a background press brief on the session based on material which has been received from the Secretariat.

The 13th regular session of Human Rights Council, which opened yesterday, is being held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from March 1-26th. The Session began with a high-level segment from 1 to 3 March, in which some 70 dignitaries, including the Hon. Minister of Defence, Justice and Security speaking on behalf of Botswana, will address the Council on their countries' efforts to promote and protect human rights.

As part of the High-Level Segment, the Council also undertook two thematic discussions.

Yesterday afternoon (Monday, 1 March), the Council held a high-level panel on the economic and financial crises, seeking to assess its impact on the realization of human rights worldwide.

This morning (Tuesday, 2 March) participants also took part in a high-level discussion on the draft Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training.

Following its high-level segment, the Council will hold an interactive dialogue with Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, after she presents the annual report of the activities of her Office.

During the session, the Council will hear presentations from independent human rights experts on numerous topics, including the right to food; adequate housing; protection of human rights while countering terrorism; torture, forced disappearances; detention; human rights defenders; freedom of religion or belief; and minorities.

Mandate holders on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and in Myanmar will also present their reports. After the presentation of each Special Rapporteur report, an interactive dialogue with the mandate holder will be held with Member States of the Council, observer States and non-governmental organizations. The situation of human rights in Somalia and on technical assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be taken up under the agenda item on technical assistance and capacity-building.

During the session, the Representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced persons and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children will engage in an interactive dialogue with the participants. The Council will also hold an interactive discussion with the Working Group of Experts on African Descent and the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

Other events, which the Council will undertake, include a panel discussion on the right to the truth, an annual day on the rights of the child, and an annual interactive debate on the rights of persons with disabilities. It will also consider the reports of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee and the Social Forum and discuss follow-up to its Special Sessions on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

In the third week of its session, the Council will consider the final outcome of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for Eritrea, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Norway, Albania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Portugal, Bhutan, Dominica , the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Brunei Darussalam, Costa Rica, Equatorial Guinea, and Ethiopia, whose human rights records were reviewed during the sixth session of the UPR Working Group in November and December 2009.

Also during the session, the Council will discuss in private the report of the Working Group on Situations of its Complaint Procedure; appoint one new member each to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Working Group on People of African Descent; and elect seven new members of the Council's Advisory Committee.

For more detailed information about the work of the Council at this session the Human Rights Council's web address is: .

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