During UN’s busiest week, human rights is focus of many debates


As the annual gathering of world leaders representing the 193 member states of the United Nations gets under way at UN headquarters in New York, here are the three main human rights related events to follow. All three events take place on Tuesday, 29 September.

Moving away from the Death Penalty: The Voices of Victims’ Families
Side event at the 70th Session of the UNGA

When? Tuesday, 29 September. 3pm-5pm
Conference room 3, UN headquarters, New York

Speakers include: Sister Helen Prejean, activist against the death penalty, Ms. Mireya Garcia Ramirez – activist against the death penalty, Mr. Robert Curley,  murder victim’s father and activist, Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Why? A growing body of evidence suggests that from the perspective of murder victims’ families, the death penalty is harmful and interferes with a difficult healing process. A situation compounded by long delays, a decrease in executions, and a belief that responding to one killing with another does not honour the victim. These are intangible emotional and psychological costs that should be taken into consideration in weighing the costs of the death penalty. This event will highlight those aspects, and is part of a series of “knowledge events” organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to help the world move away from the death penalty.

Find more information here

“Leaving No-one Behind: Equality & Inclusion in the Post-2015 Development Agenda”
High Level LGBT Core Group Event

When? Tuesday, 29 September 2015. 5pm – 6pm
Conference Room 2, UN headquarters, New York

Speakers include: Ban-Ki Moon, UN Secretary-General; Frans Timmermans, First vice-president of the EU Commission; Festus Mogae, former President of the Republic of Botswana; Hina Jilani, Human rights Lawyer and pro-democracy campaigner, member of The Elders.

Why? The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the challenges facing members of the LGBT community around the world, and to highlight the linkages between LGBT inclusion and the pace of social and economic development. The UN Secretary General, a former Head of State and a leading activist of the human rights movement will reflect on the importance of leadership in challenging discriminatory attitudes towards LGBT people and taking steps to end human rights violations against them.

More information here

A Fairer Future for All: Fighting inequalities and discrimination at the heart of the 2030 Agenda

When? Tuesday, 29 September 2015, 8.00 - 9.45 am 
Delegates Dining Room, UN headquarters, New York

Speakers include: Ms. Lenita Toivakka, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland; Ms. Lorena Cruz, President of the National Women's Institute of Mexico; Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women and Ms. Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International.

Why? The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a historic opportunity to move towards a fairer future for all. This September Member States will adopt a new development agenda which promises to ‘leave no one behind’ and puts combatting discrimination and inequalities – both within and between countries - at its heart. This event will focus on how the implementation of the new development agenda must reach the furthest behind first. It will identify practical steps for reducing inequalities, within and between countries, and ending all forms of discrimination on any ground. A more sustainable future will be a fairer future for all women and men, boys and girls.

See more information here.