UN News: Human Rights Council Advisory Committee New Chairperson

UN News: Human Rights Council Advisory Committee New Chairperson

This week the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee began its 10th session. Mr. Wolfgang Stefan Heinz was elected the Committee’s new chairperson,.  Below are some of the highlights of the begining of its 10th session.

Mr. Heinz said the Committee was at an important moment, a juncture of transition. So far the Committee had one existing mandate, and had made a proposal for five others not yet adopted by the Human Rights Council. One important point would be to contact Member States and convince them to take an active role on new mandates, especially in view of the next session in August.”(…) Last Friday the Office of the High Commissioner had organized a seminar on the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights at the request of the Human Rights Council, by way of follow up to the work of the Committee. Experience and good practices were shared and challenges identified and discussed. The General Assembly had declared 20 December as International Human Rights Solidarity Day in order to encourage debate on ways to promote solidarity and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The Secretary-General had called for intensified efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals before 2015. This process also intended to set the groundwork for post 2015 and aimed to be participatory, seeking the views of development experts and ordinary citizens from around the world.

On poverty and the right to food, Mr.Bacre Ndiaye, Director of the Human Rights Council and Special Procedures Division of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, noted that the Committee had undertaken and finalised a number of studies. At the next session of Council, the final study on rural women and the right to food would be considered as well as the study on urban poor and their enjoyment of the right to food. In that context, the Guiding Principles on extreme poverty and human rights were adopted by concensus by the Human Rights Council in September 2012. They were the first global policy guidelines that focused especially on the human rights of people living in poverty and constituted a practical tool for policy makers.

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