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Human Rights Day event celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Office

04 December 2013

Human Rights Day 2013 is of special significance as it ends the year-long commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. An engaging day-long event was held on 5 December at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The event featured a series of conversations on a variety of human rights issues, including human rights defenders, equality and participation in economic and political life, the World Wide Web and the free flow of information, and human rights mechanisms.

Key participants included Navi Pillay, UN Human Rights Chief; Hina Jilani, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders; Sir Tim Berners-Lee, computer scientist and inventor of the World Wide Web; Chief Wilton Littlechild, Chair of the Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The four interactive discussions were moderated by world renowned journalists Ghida Fakhry Khane and Tim Sebastian.

The day-long event was divided into two sessions. The morning session started at 9:30 and ended at noon. The afternoon session started at 2:30 p.m. and ended at 5:00 p.m. Salif Keita, the golden voice of Africa, a musician and advocate for the rights of people with albinism, delivered remarks and performed during both morning and afternoon sessions.

While the event was not open to the public, both sessions are available via webcast at The public was also invited to follow the live discussion on Twitter @UNrightswire and send questions to the panellists using #UNRightsAt20.

5 December 2013