GENEVA (29 November 2013) – Human Rights Day this year marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Human Rights Office and will be celebrated with events around the world throughout the week, including a day of discussions on 5 December in Geneva on a range of pressing human rights issues.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web and founder of the World Wide Web Foundation, will join UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a discussion over access to the Web and the balance between security and privacy online. Sir Tim Berners-Lee has been working to ensure that the World Wide Web is made freely available to all, and to establish the Web as a global public good and a basic right. The discussion will be moderated by prominent TV presenter Tim Sebastian, former host of the BBC’s Hardtalk programme.
The High Commissioner and the President of the Human Rights Council, Remigiusz Achilles Henczel will also deliver speeches at the opening of the event.
Hina Jilani, former Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders and Christof Heyns, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, will lead panel discussions on protecting the space for human rights defenders and building a vision for an effective human rights system over the next 20 years and beyond. Panelists will also engage on the importance of ensuring the participation and inclusion of all individuals, regardless of their background or status, in the economic and political life of a State.
The panels will be moderated by journalist Ghida Fakhry Khane, who was until recently one of the primary anchors for Al Jazeera English. Civil society representatives from Zimbabwe, Colombia, Tunisia and Norway will also lend their perspectives and rich experience to the discussions.
The day will end with a performance by renowned musician Salif Keita, from Mali. Known as the "Golden Voice of Africa", Mr. Keita was born with albinism and, in 2005, he founded the Salif Keita Global Foundation to raise awareness about albinism.
The event will be held on Thursday, 5 December 2013, at the Palais des Nations in Room XX, from 9h30 to 17h00. The full programme and biographies of the participants can be found on http://at20.ohchr.org/events.html.
Visiting journalists can get accreditation to enter the UN building and attend the event by contacting the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG), Press and External Relations Section, Francois Richer (Tel: +41 22 917 4359 / Mob: +41 79 477 0865 / Fax: +41 22 917 0165 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
More details can be obtained from: Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / email@example.com); Cécile Pouilly (+41 22 917 9310 / firstname.lastname@example.org), Ravina Shamdasani (+41 22 917 9169 / email@example.com )
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