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UN experts welcome the closing of Guantanamo Bay

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From: OHCHR
Date: 22 Dec 2008

Press Release: UN EXPERTS WELCOME THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA TO CLOSE THE GUANTANAMO BAY DETENTION FACILITY

GENEVA – Four independent UN experts (*) welcome the announcement by President-elect Barack Obama to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and to strengthen the fight against torture. Following his election in November, Mr. Obama declared that both these undertakings are part of his efforts “to regain America’s moral stature in the world”.

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Nicaragua: confirming land ownership for indigenous group

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UN expert praises Nicaragua

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From: OHCHR
Date: 17 Dec 2008

PRESS RELEASE:

GENEVA – On 14 December 2008, the Government of Nicaragua, in a long-awaited ceremony, gave the Awas Tingni community the title to its ancestral territory, which consists of some 74,000 hectares of densely forested lands.  “This affirmative step by the Government of Nicaragua represents an important advancement in the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide,” said the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, Professor James Anaya.

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CAT (Convention against Torture), 41st session (3-21 Nov 2008)

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Jurisprudence

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From: OHCHR
Date: 15 Dec 2008

Dear Subscribers, We are pleased to provide you herewith the latest 2008 distribution of treaty body recommendations through the listserve administered by the Human RightsTreaties Branch, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  Please, do not reply to this message. For your information, we attach the final decisions of the Committee against Torture, adopted at its 41st session, held in Geneva from 3  to 21 November 2008, in respect of individual complaints presented in conformity with article 22 of the Convention. The decisions are provided in the original language of adoption, with translations into additional languages to be found in due course on the Treaty Body Database of the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Kind Regards, Human Rights Treaty Branch.

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Closing a historic gap in human rights

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Navi Pillay

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From: OHCHR
Date: 12 Dec 2008

PRESS RELEASE: Closing a historic gap in human rights

The UN General Assembly has achieved an important goal to strengthen international protection of human rights as it celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration

NEW YORK – The United Nations General Assembly adopted an important new human rights instrument to strengthen the protection of economic, social and cultural rights during its plenary sessions commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, on 10 December.

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Accreditation to the Commemorative session

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… of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 12 December 2008

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From: OHCHR
Date: 10 Dec 2008

Dear colleagues, Please find below information on accreditation and access to the public gallery for the Commemorative session of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Friday 12 December 2008 in the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room (room XX), Palais des Nations.

Also note that all pertinent and up-to-date information on the Commemorative session will be made available on the Human Rights Council webpage of the OHCHR website.

Accreditation:

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Forum on Minority Issues

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Will take place next on the Geneva’s United Nations, 15 and 16 December 2008, Geneva, Palais des Nations.

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The Forum will meet annually for two working days allocated to thematic discussions. The independent expert on minority issues, Ms Gay McDougall, shall guide the work of the Forum and prepare its annual meetings and shall report on the thematic recommendations of the Forum to the Human Rights Council.
The same resolution has requested the President of the Human Rights Council to appoint for each session, on the basis of regional rotation, and in consultation with regional groups, a chairperson of the Forum among experts on minority issues: Ms. Viktória Mohácsi, was appointed in May.

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Somalia: UN expert gets the human rights picture …

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… through neighbouring countries

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From: OHCHR
Date: 3 Dec 2008

PRESS RELEASE:

Somalia: UN expert completes his second Field Visit

The Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia, Dr. Shamsul Bari, issued the following statement on the last day of his Second Field Visit to the Horn of Africa and the Middle East.

SANA’A – During his second field mission, the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia, Dr. Shamsul Bari, was not able to visit that country and its capital, Mogadishu, due to the security constraints, but focused on the neighbouring States to get a best picture of the situation in Somalia to update his report to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2009.

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Missed opportunities in Doha …

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… warns Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights

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From: OHCHR
Date: 4 Dec 2008

PRESS RELEASE:

Missed opportunities in Doha

GENEVA – “The international community has missed a crucial opportunity to reform the international framework on debt, for the benefit of the people on the ground,” concluded the Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Dr. Cephas Lumina*, after participating in the Doha follow-up Conference on Financing for Development**.

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Financing People-Centered Development

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Doha, Qatar, from 25 to 27 November 2008

Published on Financing for Development, Civil Society Engagement, Created by Matt Simonds on November 25, 2008.

Civil Society Draft Declaration Delivered to the Official Review Conference on Financing for Development:

Recent Headlines: … Draft Civil Society Declaration (scroll down): We, the members of more than 400 civil society organizations from ( … ) countries gathered before the official Review Conference on Financing for Development in Doha Qatar 25 – 27 November 2008 under the theme “Investing in people centered development”. We reviewed the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and discussed pressing new challenges and debated possibilities for innovative financing. The Monterrey conference emerged out of a financial crisis in Asia and Latin America in the 1990s. But it was also guided by a perceived crisis in development: the need to examine the shortfall in resources required for countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to cut the number of people living in extreme poverty by half by 2015, improve social conditions, raise living standards, and protect the environment … (more).

MARKING THE 60 YEARS …

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… OF THE UDHR AROUND THE WORLD

Published on OHCHR:

MARKING THE 60 YEARS OF THE UDHR AROUND THE WORLD – A YEAR LONG COMMEMORATION, 10 pdf pages.

The year long commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was intended to be as inclusive as possible, highlighting the role of people everywhere as the custodians and beneficiaries of the UDHR. The commemoration, spearheaded by the Secretary General of the United Nations, encompassed the UN family, the public and private sectors, media, schools, artists and other representatives of civil society throughout the world. Beginning on Human Rights Day 2007, United Nations offices around the globe held a diverse range of creative events on different aspects of human rights … (full long text, 10 pages).

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2008:

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UNPAN News Alert – November 2008

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From: UNPAN
Date: 2 Dec 2008

Dear UNPAN Friends, I am pleased to bring you the new UNPAN updates of November 2008.  You can click here to view the UNPAN Library documents posted in the last 15 days, (what’s new), such as:

· Governance World Watch (daily and monthly) and Governance Asia-Pacific Watch November 2008 (monthly)

· New Online Polls
- United Nations Public Administration Network UNPAN
- United Nations Public Administration Programme UNPAP

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UN Mission in Iraq issues human rights

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From: OHCHR
Date: 2 Dec 2008

PRESS RELEASE: UN Mission in Iraq issues human rights report for first half of 2008

BAGHDAD / GENEVA – The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) issued on Tuesday its 13th report on the human rights situation in the country covering the period 1 January – 30 June 2008. During the reporting period, Iraq has witnessed great improvements in general security conditions, with a marked drop in violent, high-visibility, high-casualty attacks by militias or criminal gangs, but the human rights situation in the country remains serious.

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United Nations Human Rights Prize 2008

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United Nations Human Rights Prize 2008

The 2008 United Nations Human Rights Prize winners include a doctor working in the Congo treating women and girl victims of sexual violence, a posthumous award to a Nun who defended the rights of the poor, landless and indigenous peoples of Brazil and the immediate past UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The UN General Assembly established the prize forty years ago to recognise “outstanding achievements in the field of human rights.” The awards will be presented at a ceremony in New York on 10 December to mark the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For 2008 six individuals and one organisation have been awarded the prize.

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