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 High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein  at the event on Moving Away from the Death Penalty: The Voices of Victims' Families ©OHCHR/Veronique Ehamo
High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein  at the event on Moving Away from the Death Penalty: The Voices of Victims' Families
OHCHR/Veronique Ehamo

At event on moving away from the death penalty, Ban stresses need to respect rights of victims’ families

As more nations move toward abolishing the death penalty, the rights and needs of victims and their families need to respected, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
“This implies that all victims should be fully informed about such processes, which should be inexpensive and allow for the presentation of victims' views and concerns,” Mr. Ban stated in a message during the event Moving Away from the Death Penalty: Voices of Victims’ Families. The event took place during the UN General Assembly, taking place in New York this week.

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 Le Haut-Commissaire Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein à la 30e session du CDH © Photo ONU/Jean-Marc FERRE

La critique ne menace pas la souveraineté

« Un commentaire mûrement réfléchi ne saurait porter atteinte à la souveraineté d’un pays », a déclaré le Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, lors de l’allocution qu’il a prononcée à l’ouverture de la 30e session du Conseil des droits de l’homme, qui a lieu ce mois-ci à Genève.

 End Executions campaign logo and image

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 - on the death penalty, LGBT, and Sustainable Development Goals . All three events take place on Tuesday, 29 September.

Actualités des droits de l'homme

Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism. Launch of the Strong Cities Network
Delivering the keynote speech at the launch of a Strong Cities Network as part of an event on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism, the High Commissioner said " Today'shorrific crises are the grimmest kind of parable of what may occur when human rights, for generations, are ground down by the contempt of officialdom. " To attempt to fight violent extremism through masssurveillance, discriminatory policing, crackdowns, torture, abusive prosecutions, widespread use of the death penalty and ever-larger prisons "is, if you will permit me to quote a pop song, like putting out fire with gasoline."

Trygve Lie Symposium on Fundamental Freedoms
In the voices of grass-roots civil society activists and human rights defenders, “we hear what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims: ‘The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government’,” the High Commissioner said. “Their message is that government is a responsibility: those who are mandated to exercise power have the duty to promote the well-being and the dignity of the people whom they serve. Their voices tell us: we, the people, are sovereign. We have the right to share ideas, to criticise, and to join with others to participate in decisions about our future. This is not only a matter of principle and law, but a very deeply practical improvement. When people can share ideas to overcome common problems – and in many areas, they do – the result is a better, more healthy, more secure and more sustainable State.”

High-level side event on Migration in the new development agenda
In today’s dramatic and precarious migration flows, movement is rarely ‘voluntary’ in the true sense of that term, the High Commissioner said. “Refugees fleeing persecution and conflict journey together with migrants fleeing poverty, discrimination and despair. They are not two different kinds of people; ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’. They are all human beings.”

High Level Ministerial breakfast “A Fairer Future For All: Fighting Inequalities and discrimination”
The 2030 Agenda gives us “the opportunity to create the kind of world we want,” the High Commissioner said. But policy plans will not be enough: we also need to scrupulously monitor progress, with indicators and data disaggregation, to monitor our progress in dismantling all grounds of discrimination prohibited under international human rights law. And perhaps most importantly, the new agenda must include incentives for progress and accountability in case of failure to deliver.

Dialogue on Ukraine at the Human Rights Council
Statement by Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović at the Human Rights Council Inter-active dialogue on Ukraine, 29 September 2015

Moving away from the Death Penalty: The voices of victims’ families”
“The 70 years since the United Nations came to life have seen a remarkable shift in the death penalty,” the High Commissioner said. “Then, only 14 countries had abolished the practise. Currently, 82% of Member States have either abolished it or introduced moratoria”. He also noted that “many murder victims’ families believe that responding to one killing with another does not honor the victim” and feel that the death penalty would harm their hopes of recovering from their loss.

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