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The Durban Review Conference 2009

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In 2006, the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 61/149, decided to convene in 2009 a review conference on the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. To this end, it requested the Human Rights Council to prepare this event, making use of the three existing and ongoing follow-up mechanisms, to formulate a concrete plan and to provide yearly updates and reports on this issue starting in 2007.

The United Nations Human Rights Council is acting as the Preparatory Committee for the Durban Review Conference: …

… What are the objectives of the Review Conference? In August 2007, during its organizational session, the Preparatory Committee for the Conference set forth the objectives of the Durban Review Conference as follows:

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McCain and The Evil Empire

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See on the RealNewsNetwork this video with Pepe Escobar: McCain insists on demonizing Russia – he’s not even listening to his own heroes, 6.15 min, October 10, 2008.

NGO Statement, Agenda Item 4: GENERAL DEBATE

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59th Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, 6-10 October 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This statement has been drafted in consultation with, and is delivered on behalf of, a wide range of NGOs and aims to reflect the diversity of views within the NGO community.

Since the meeting of the Executive Committee last year, NGOs had hoped to be able to bring a more positive message to this year’s session. Sadly, however, we have again witnessed numerous situations in which the rights of refugees, other forcibly displaced populations, and stateless persons have been flouted and where humanitarian organisations have been denied access to assist and protect these populations.

We see it as our role and responsibility to bring a reality check to the Executive Committee by highlighting a number of countries and issues where the rights of refugees and other populations of concern to UNHCR are at stake. We hope that the ExCom – in this session and in its other meetings – will find ways to address the challenges we present so that this forum can better fulfil its responsibility to protect the rights of refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and stateless persons.

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Minority Forum, 15-16 Dec. 2008: Invitation

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Received by mail:

From: OHCHR
Date: 7 Oct 2008

Dear All, Kindly find attached a letter of invitation for participation in the First United Nations Forum on Minority Issues, scheduled to take place between 15 and 16 December 2008 in Room XVIII, Palais des Nations.

Please inform the Forum on Minority Issues’ Secretariat regarding the participation of a representative by 15 November 2008.Ms. Sylvie Saddier-Calame of the Forum on Minority Issues’ Secretariat can be contacted by e-mail.

Kindly note also that relevant information regarding registration and accreditation can be found on the Forum’s web site.

Best regards, OHCHR Civil Society Unit.

On promises to fight racism and intolerance

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Received by mail:

From: OHCHR
Date: 6 Oct 2008

OHCHR PRESS RELEASE – Pillay calls on states to act:

Pillay calls on states to act on promises to fight racism and intolerance
(Mind the 54 sec-video, click on the OHCHR-link: The High Commissioner for Human Rights launches the Dignity and Justice for Detainees Week Initiative).

GENEVA (OHCHR) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Monday said that “racism, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance are problems that occur shamefully on a daily basis across the world,” and called for a more concerted effort by states to act on promises to tackle these “odious practices.”

Referring to a landmark blueprint document agreed by governments attending the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, Pillay said “implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action still lags sorely and lamentably behind the solemn commitments that states pledged to fulfil seven years ago.”

She urged governments “to travel that extra mile that makes historic change possible,” adding that pledges “must be reflected in policies, institutions and legislation which benefit individuals and communities by tangibly improving their lives.”

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Statement by 13 UN experts on global Detention Initiative

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Received by mail:

From: OHCHR Press info
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008

The Statement:

Thirteen independent experts of the UN Human Rights Council issued the following statement at the start of Dignity and Justice for Detainees Week – a global  initiative launched by the High Commissioner for Human Rights – which takes place from 6-12 October 2008:

GENEVA: “We strongly support the High Commissioner’s initiative on improving respect for the human rights of detainees. As mandate holders of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, we visit places of detention in many countries and receive information from all around the world. A serious problem we encounter is that often there are no proper records of those deprived of liberty, or, worse, they are held in places of detention that are not officially recognized. It is also of great concern that many people should not be deprived of their liberty at all, since their detention is arbitrary. Others are being detained solely on the basis of administrative orders unrelated to the criminal justice system, for example irregular migrants. Deprivation of liberty as such, whether lawful or not, makes persons extremely vulnerable to a broad range of human rights violations.

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Available documentation – OHCHR …

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… and invitation to meeting with Bureau of the Preparatory Committee for the Durban Review Conference, Oct. 6 to 17, 2008

Received by mail:

From: OHCHR
Date: 3 Oct 2008

Dear All, In view of the second substantive session of the Preparatory Committee for the Durban  Review Conference to be held in Geneva between 6 and 17 October 2008, please find the link to the relevant documentation currently available on the OHCHR website.

Furthermore, a meeting will be held between the Bureau of the Preparatory Committee and NGOs accredited to the session, scheduled to take place at lunchtime on Monday 6 October 2008 in Palais des Nations, Geneva. An announcement will be made on Monday 6 October, during the session of the Prepaatory Committee, regarding the room where the meeting will take place.

Kind regards, OHCHR Civil Society Unit.