Fourth Session of the Human Rights Council

12 to 30 March 2007

Special Events

* Two special events are scheduled to take place during the Fourth Session of the Human Rights Council. The aim of these events is to have an opportunity to discuss, in an interactive setting, two issues on which there has been significant evolution during the recent months, having particular relevance to the Council’s work.

* The overall purpose of both special events is to raise awareness and gain understanding about these issues and of the role that the Human Rights Council can play in their follow-up.

* The first event would focus on the issue of violence against children, bearing in mind the impact of the study recently presented by the independent expert Professor Sergio Pinheiro.

* The second event would be focused on the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, recently adopted by the General Assembly and scheduled to be open for signature at a special ceremony on March 30 in New York.

* Both events will be one hour long, with a view to having a focused discussion that will benefit from the participation of experts in the respective fields.

* No outcome is expected from any of the events.

The details for each one are provided below:

I. Violence Against Children, Date: 19 March 2007, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Participants:

  • Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, President of the Human Rights Council (Moderator)
  • Professor Sergio Pinhiero, Independent Expert for the United Nations Study on Violence Against Children
  • Representatives from International Organizations that participated in the elaboration of the Study (WHO, UNICEF, OHCHR, ILO) (TBD)
  • Ms. Roberta Cecchetti, representative from the NGO Advisory Group on Violence Against Children

Objectives:

To exchange views on the possible measures that States and the international community can undertake for the development of strategies to effectively prevent and combat all forms of violence against children, taking into account the elements and recommendations of the United Nations World Study on Violence Against Children, elaborated by the Independent Expert Professor Sergio Pinheiro at the request of the UN Secretary General.

The independent Study, recently presented by Professor Pinheiro to the General Assemby and to the Council, provides important elements for the international community to consider so as to combat all forms of violence against children through comprehensive strategies.

The United Nations General Assembly has invited the Independent Expert, in cooperation with Human Rights Council and other relevant actors, to give dissemination to the study and to give support to the first year of effective follow up to its recommendations with an integrated approach that bridges the dimensions of public health, education, child protection and human rights.

In this regard, the event seeks also to raise awareness and gain a better understanding about the United Nations Study on Violence Against Children, and to exchange views regarding the role that the Human Rights Council can assume, in cooperation with States and all relevant actors, in order to contribute to its follow up.

Format:

  • Professor Pinhiero will make a presentation of up to 10 minutes regarding the recommendations and conclusions of the study.
  • Questions and answers will follow.

II. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Date: Monday, March 26, 3:00 to 4:00 pm

Participants:

  • Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, President of the Human Rights Council (Moderator)
  • Ambassador Don MacKay, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations in Geneva, and Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee that elaborated the Convention
  • Mme. Louis Arbour, High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Mme. Sheikha Hessa Al-Thani, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability

Mr. Monthian Buntan, President of the Thailand Association of the Blind

Objectives:

To raise awareness of the Convention in the Council and to identify the issues that the Council may integrate in its work in order to contribute to the promotion of the treaty and to its future implementation.

The Human Rights Commission adopted several resolutions that addressed the human rights of persons of disabilities, and the Convention in particular. However, the Council has not previously discussed this Convention, which is a landmark human rights treaty.

The Convention will be open for signature in close connection with the Council’s session and is expected to enter into force relatively soon. In this sense, it would be beneficial to discuss the practical issues that the Council, OHCHR and States, in partnership with all relevant stakeholders, will need to address in the following months to promote the Convention and prepare the ground for its follow up and implementation

In this regard, the event is intended to be practical and forward-looking, focussing on the key issues that the international community will need to take into account to promote and implement the Convention.

Format:

  • · Each participant will make a presentation of 5 to 7 min, focusing on the role that he or she represents in the context of the Convention.
  • · Participants will also highlight aspects in which the Council can contribute to the promotion and implementation of the treaty.
  • · Questions and answers will follow.

Comments are closed.