UN Human Rights Council Opens With Calls to Uphold Freedoms Worldwide

On February 27, 2012 the Human Rights Council opened its 19th session at Palais des Nations, Geneva. In the opening remarks, senior officials underlined how the United Nations’ commitment in protecting and promoting human rights is now as vital as ever, as demonstrated by the recent uprisings in the Arab region.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, stressed that the public request for the enjoyment of human rights against exclusion, inequality and discrimination has also emerged on other continents and that, despite its budgetary restrictions, the Office of the High Commissioner for human Rights has tried to implement human rights advocacy, efficient office practices and technically advanced projects in order to adequately respond to their requests. She also affirmed that the Human Rights Council can do much more to meet its responsibilities.
The president of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, added that in current years the human rights debate is widespread across nations and people are more aware of their rights. He noted that the Human Rights Council should do more especially in countries where violations daily recur.
The current session of the Human Rights Council will run until the 23rd of March, considering themes such as freedom of expression on the Internet, human rights in sports, rights of persons with disabilities, children’s rights and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.