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The Human Rights Council opens 14th session

The 14th session of the Human Rights Council takes place at Palais des Nations in Geneva. Christine Wambaa @ OHCHRThe Human Rights Council, the principal UN intergovernmental body responsible for human rights, opened its 14th session in Geneva which runs from 31 May to 18 June.

In a speech to the Council, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay pointed out that the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit in September 2010 may have great bearing on the work and vision of the Council.

“The Millennium Declaration recognized that a denial of rights engenders or perpetuates dire conditions of exclusion and want, including poverty.  In turn, poverty undermines basic human rights, such as access to food, to shelter, and to education,” she said on 31 May.

“It entrenches discrimination and marginalisation and makes it difficult for victims to obtain justice and remedies when their rights are violated.  In sum, poverty, discrimination and marginalisation are both causes and effects of violations of economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights.”

Pillay urged all countries “to keep the full realisation of human rights, including the right to development, at the forefront of their action and progress” as they prepare for the MDG Summit and review progress towards the achievement of the MDGs.

The High Commissioner also updated the Human Rights Council on specific situations in many parts of the world.

In addition to discussion on thematic and country specific human rights issues and interactive dialogues with more than 20 independent experts and special rapporteurs, the Human Rights Council during its current session will convene six panels on a wide range of issues.

These panels concern victims of human trafficking, protection of journalists in armed conflict, women’s human rights, the adverse effects of toxic and dangerous wastes, and preventable maternal mortality and morbidity.

The 14th session of the Human Rights Council is taking place at Palais des Nations in Geneva. More information is available on the webpage of the session, which is also webcast live.

31 May 2010