21st session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva

On Monday September 10th the Human
Rights Council opened its 21st Session, in Geneva. The UN Secretary
General, Ban Ki Moon, in his opening
speech, encouraged the Ambassadors, Member State representatives, and NGOs to
“use all our tools to shine the light of human rights everywhere”. While
recalling main international issues requiring to be addressed, he mentioned his
expectations for this Session, which are:

  • To enforce the perspective of Human
    Rights in every instance of the United Nations.
  • To ensure protection of human rights
    defenders and avoid impunity.
  • To draw special attention to women’s
Next to take the floor, the High Commissioner
for Human Rights, Navi Pillay,
presented her report which focused, inter alia, on:  “prison sentences against human rights
activists in Bahrain, the situation of indigenous communities in Colombia, the
attacks on internally displaced persons in Cote d’Ivoire, the situation in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, the recent forced closure of Roma camps in
France, and the on-going conflict in Syria, which will be addressed later in
the session when the Commission of Inquiry presents its latest report.”

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