On November, 6th, 2017, the 28th session of the UPR began in the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. This session occurred during the third Review Cycle. The sessions took place through 17th of November. The following countries have undergone review: Check Republic, Argentina, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Switzerland, Republic of Korea, Benin, Pakistan, Zambia, Japan, Ukraine and Sri Lanka. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a cyclical review process of all 193 UN Member States. Once every four years the human rights situation in each State is reviewed. The State under...

On November 21, 2017, representatives of the IIMA Human Rights Office attended the meeting on the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights’ (OHCHR) Official Management Plan 2018-2021. The presentation was held by the Deputy High Commissioner Mrs. Kate Gilmore and addressed several NGO’s involved in Human Rights advocacy. The meeting took place in Room VII in Palais des Nations, Geneva. Mrs. Gilmore reaffirmed that the Human Rights promotion in the United Nations is guided by the principle, “Leaving no one behind”. She noted that respecting human rights shall not merely...

On November 20, 2017, as part of the “UN Library Talks Geneva” series, there was a presentation of the book “Indispensable ONU” by its author, the former French high diplomat Mr. Jean-Marc de La Sablière. The Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva Mr. Michael Møller participated in the meeting, as well as the distinguished journalist Mrs. Catherine Fiankan-Bokonga. In the audience, the Ambassadors of France, Togo and Benin honoured the presentation of the book with their presence. After a lifelong career in the French top diplomacy, Mr. de La...

October 17, 2017, is the 25th anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The day is a time for raising awareness calling to mind one of the most vulnerable groups among us- the poor. By bringing special attention to the plight of the poor the hope is that their difficulties will be highlighted and that the world will come together to meet the challenges necessary to remedy the situation and eliminate poverty entirely. Mr. Philip Alston (Australia) has been the current Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human...

On Friday, October 6, 2017 the Intersessional panel discussion on human rights, climate change, migrants and persons displaced across international borders was held at the Palais de Nations. The discussion’s focus regarded the impact of climate change on migration. The talks premised on an understanding of the negative effects that severe weather can have on the stability and functionality of governments as it relates to providing for their citizens. With these limitations in mind, panelists turned their attention to the “human element” of the crises- this means that they examined...

On September 20, 2017 the Human Rights Council held its panel discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples. The backdrop for this event was the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The panel was headed by Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore who noted that many years ago the chief of the Iroquois, a historical North American native tribe, came to what was then the League of Nations and felt an atmosphere of indifference. This begs the question,...

Last 11th August 2017 in Battambang, IIMA members in Cambodia had the honour together with other NGOs to meet with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Cambodia, Ms. Rhona Smith. The purpose of her mission was to collect information on the human rights situation in Cambodia focusing on the protection of children in the context of migration and trafficking. At the meeting, civil society representatives had the opportunity to express their worries and report the reality of the situation experienced by children in the country. The visit of the...

Organized by UN-Habitat and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, a very interesting Panel Discussion on “Reviewing State of Safety in Cities”, was held on June 28th in Room XXV of Palais des Nations. This event was organized in the scope of the outcomes of the UN “Habitat III” conference, resulting in the “New Urban Agenda”, and to facilitate partnership between local and national governments, civil society and other stakeholders to fully endorse the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.   During the Panel, it was examined how nowadays’ speed of urban development brings...

IIMA is pleased to announce the recent Human Rights Council resolution 35/14 that focuses on the issue of international youth rights. This resolution was adopted after the IIMA office, along with other stakeholders and States, pressed the Human Rights Council for a better promotion of youth rights through UN mechanisms. The resolution was made during the 35th regular Human Rights Council Session in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2017. It recognizes the fact that the world’s youth population face “… growing challenges that disproportionately affect [them]…”[1] and invites states to take concrete...

On June 6 thru 23, 2017, at Palais de Nations, Geneva Switzerland, the IIMA office was busy with work as they prepared for their participation in the 35th regular session of the United Nations (UN) Human Right Council (HRC). The main role IIMA played in the 35th UN HRC was through the submission of oral statements thanks to the work of interns and volunteers. Four oral statements were given on behalf of IIMA and VIDES, along with the co-sponsorship of several other joint statements. The first oral statement was presented on June...