October 15-19 the Working Group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights debated on the zero draft legally binding international instrument regulating transnational enterprises activities. It is a burning topic, because if the proposed international instrument is adopted it would oblige states to respect human rights in business transnational activities. On Wednesday the 17th, a group of faith-based NGOs organised a side event titled “High-level religious voices for a future treaty”. Franciscan International, Caritas Internationalis, Misereor, CIDSE, CAFOD, Fastenopfer and Brot für die Welt convened to integrate...

High-level intersessional discussion On Friday 27 April 2018, at RoomⅩⅩ, in Palais des Nations, the high-level intersessional discussion was chaired by H.E. Mr. Vojislav Šuc, President of the Human Rights Council. The opening remarks were given by Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations via a video message, and by Ms. Kate Gilmore, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. Four eminent speakers were invited for the occasion H.E. Mr. Thomas Qwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E. Mr. Christian Leffler, Deputy Secretary-General of...

During the 37th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, on 21 March 2018, at 1 p.m., in Room XXIV, at Palais des Nations, IIMA and VIDES International co-sponsored a side event entitled, “Arts and Cultural Education as a Right,” which was organized by the Permanent Mission of Spain and UNESCO Etxea. This event presented best practices for Arts education as a tool to promote human rights. In fact, Arts education and creative expression form the basis for quality education and for the full development of the young students. In her...

On 15 January 2018, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, the 29th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) commenced, which lasted until the 26 January. Every four and a half years there is a scheduled review of all UN Member States. The State under review addresses measures adopted and the actions taken to improve human rights conditions within the country. During the review, the UPR Working Group, consisting of other Member States, asks questions and gives recommendations. In the 29th session, fourteen States were under review: France, Tonga, Romania,...

On 1st February 2018, at Club Suisse de la Presse, a civil society hearing on the 1988 Iran Massacre was held. The organizers were: Justice for Victims of 1988 Massacre in Iran (JVMI), Foundation Danielle-Mitterrand – France Libertés, Partito Radicale (Italy), Women’s Health & Research Institute of Australia (WHRIA), and the International Educational Development. The speakers included: Ms. Kirsty Brimelow, QC, Professor Jean Ziegler, Dr. Juan Garcés, Mr. Tahar Boumedra, and Mr. Eric Sottas. Ms. Kirsty Brimelow, QC, who laid out the historical context of the massacre, stressed how this event...

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...