Panel discussion on the issue of intimidation or reprisal against individuals and groups who cooperate or have cooperated with the UN.
Panel discussion on the issue of
intimidation or reprisal against individuals and groups who cooperate or have
cooperated with the UN, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of
murdered of the U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens, by Islamist gunmen who
attacked the U.S. consulate in Libya.
of the UN, through a video message, expressed his concern on the issue, reporting
that episodes of intimidation and reprisals against those who operate with the
UN in the field of human rights have increased in the past two decades.
Mrs. Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for human rights and Ms. Mehr
Khan Williams, Chair of the board of the
international service for human rights, emphasized that Member States have the
responsibility and the UN itself should assure the protection of individuals
and groups who cooperate with the UN from intimidation or reprisal.
Secretary for Global Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary,
enlightens the UN leadership on this issue, addressing the problem of impunity
and remarking the responsibility of the Member States who have to take position
in order to ensure accountability of those responsible and avoid impunity.
Coordination Committee of Special Procedure,
highlighted the need to improve the protection of
people involved in special procedures as witness, given their important
contribution to the effectiveness of human rights. As a result, Member States have the responsibility to protect human rights
defenders, individuals as well as organizations, under the obligation of the UN
It is fundamental to develop a common approach to respond
with the equal countermeasures.
emerged from the discussion is that unfortunately the number of serious cases
of people arrested, intimidated, persecuted and even killed is increasing and
the failure of protecting them implies the failure of the UN system. While
recognizing the seriousness of the problem and the shared responsibility of the
UN and national governments, it was
stressed that concrete actions must be taken such as: the adoption of unified procedures
to punish the responsible of acts of intimidation and reprisal; as well as rapid
remedies for the victims and international programme to protect victims and