UNFaces: Information, Engagement and Action

The Geneva Centre today launches UNFaces, a global online platform for meaningful communication between the public and representatives of the United Nations that will empower individuals to understand, engage with, and – ultimately – affect the process of diplomacy and development.

Information and Communications Technologies: The Problem of Inclusive Development

The United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development is currently in its seventeenth session in Geneva. The Geneva Centre reports on the role of information and communications technologies (ICT’s) for inclusive social and economic development, and notes the important role played by these technologies in human rights advancement in the Middle East and North Africa.

Working Group on the Right to Development: The Need for Global Partnerships

The right to development can be rooted in the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the two International Human Rights Covenants, and we welcome the 15th session of the Working Group established to monitor and review progress made in the promotion and implementation of the right to development as an opportunity to develop operational sub criteria to the Declaration.

Geneva Centre Welcomes World Day Against Child Labour

The Geneva Centre welcome this World Day Against Child Labour as an important opportunity to draw attention to the role of social protection in keeping children out of child labour and removing them from it, and to gain the invaluable support of governments, civil society and others in the campaign against child labour.

Human Rights and Business: The Case of Foreign Occupation

The Working Group was established at the seventeenth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011, and the Geneva Centre welcomes its 8th session as an important opportunity to ensure that respecting human rights becomes a global standard for all businesses wherever they operate, and one that exists independently of states abilities to fulfil their own human rights obligations and above compliance with national legislation.

World Press Freedom Day 2014: End Attacks on the Media

Today also serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom – a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

International Worker’s Day and Forced Labour

International Worker’s Day commemorates a time of civil unrest in the late nineteenth century when workers in industrialised countries demonstrated for improved working conditions, wage raises and the establishment of a maximum working day and week. Many of the demonstrations were suppressed with force. The rights that demonstrators fought for at that time are featured in the preamble to the original ILO Constitution and are still current today.

“People of African Descent: Recognition, Justice, and Development”: The International Decade for People of African Descent

From 7th to 17th April 2014, the United Nations Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action met to develop a programme of activities for the International Decade for People of African Descent. The Geneva Centre expresses its support for the initiative and outlines the background and objectives of the decade ahead.

State of Palestine Submits Application to Accede to 15 International Conventions and Treaties

United Nations Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review of Jordan

H.E. Rajab M. Sukayri, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations, said that “Jordan places great importance on human rights advancement, and we welcome the UPR as an opportunity to receive constructive criticism”. The Ambassador reported that Jordan has recently approved the granting of nationality to the children of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians and has agreed to grant them civil rights. On the consideration of gender among the criteria of discrimination, he noted that the Jordanian Constitution considers people equally before the law, and said that if gender was not mentioned this did not mean that there was discrimination. When asked about broadening the definition of journalists, Mr Sukatri commented that a relevant Committee had amended the law on the trade union of journalists, and that accordingly the freedom of journalists had been expanded.

Geneva Centre Joins UN to End Racism and Implement the Durban Declaration and Program of Action

In December 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Council elected to follow up to the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance by establishing an Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards. This Committee was mandated to elaborate complementary standards in the form of a convention or additional protocols to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to fill the existing gaps in the Convention, and to provide new normative standards aimed at combating all forms of contemporary racism, including incitement to racial and religious hatred.

Breaking the “vicious circle of mistrust, narrow-mindedness and collective hysteria”: The United Nations Human Rights Council on Freedom of Religion and Belief

Mr. Heiner Bielefeldt opened the session by outlining the key findings of his report. He emphasised that manifestations of collective religious hatred “do not “erupt” like a volcano, but are caused by human beings, whose actions or omissions can set in motion a seemingly unstoppable negative dynamic in societies”. The Special Rapporteur reflectedthat, “hate-filled sentiments can trigger a vicious circle of mistrust, narrow-mindedness, collective hysteria, contempt-filled rumours and fear of imaginary conspiracies”, which often result in “hate manifestations [targeting] members of religious minorities or individual dissenters”.

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