The UNHRC concludes …

Press Release of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Date: 12 Jun 2007.

The United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC concludes discussion on right to food, toxic and dangerous waster, adequate housing and extreme poverty.

The Human Rights Council this morning concluded its interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteurs on the right to food, the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights, and adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and the Independent Expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty.

In concluding remarks, Jean Ziegler, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, said 12 billion people could be fed by the food production in the world today – so a child dying from hunger now was a victim of assassination and murder. On Darfur, the Council had carried out remarkable work and an agreement was achieved for a resolution on an expert group working on different ways to ensure the humanitarian situation in Darfur could be improved. Concerning Zimbabwe, he had asked to visit the country and thought that the mission was going to take place. The question of bio fuels and selling food products for bio fuels represented a danger to the right of food.


Okechukwu Ibeanu, the Special Rapporteur on the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights, thanked all for their interventions which had convinced him that his mandate was a human rights issue and that only a rights-based approach could tackle the problem. In this regard, and in line with the recommendations in his report, this required continued recognition of the responsibilities of both State and non-state actions; careful tracking and monitoring of hot spots outlined in the text; full recognition of the need to provide information to communities that may be at risk; and other steps.

Miloon Kothari, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, said his report on his mission to Australia was based on a very wide range of sources, and he did not think that these credible organizations could be dismissed as being interest groups. He stood by his conclusion that the continuing problem of homelessness in a developed country was deplorable and needed to be credibly addressed. He welcomed the efforts of Spain to tackle corruption and to protect vulnerable groups.

Arjun Sengupta, the Independent Expert on human rights and extreme poverty, said his main motivation was that poverty had for long been recognized as a scourge to human dignity. A social consensus had to be to implement policies. Poverty existed in most developing countries and also in some developed ones. The obligation was to adopt minimum policies to fulfil basic rights. There should be mechanisms to tackle the problem. The idea was to accept the best efforts to be made to accept this human right as a binding condition.

Speaking on the four reports were Representatives of India, the Philippines, Germany on behalf of the European Union, Cuba, Canada, Indonesia, Finland, Bangladesh, Mexico, Venezuela, Switzerland, Senegal, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Chile, Nigeria, Argentina, Algeria, the Russian Federation, Morocco, Norway, Tunisia, Nicaragua, Thailand, Republic of Korea, Brazil, Uruguay, China, the African Union, Ecuador and Bolivia. The National Human Rights Commission of India also spoke.

Representatives of the following non-governmental organizations also took the floor: (full long text).

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