Poverty and impunity undermine human rights in a divided world

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE, AI Index: ORG 50/040/2007 (Public), News Service No: 155, 11 August 2007.

(Mexico) Poverty and impunity were identified as the two most alarming trends affecting human rights in a divided world, concluded a panel of eminent persons at the Opening Ceremony of the 2007 International Council meeting of Amnesty International in Mexico today.

Under the theme ‘Human Rights in a Divided World’, distinguished figures recalled the great hope, which emerged after the fall of communism in the early 1990s, that there would be a real global consensus on how to tackle the world’s problems. But instead inequality, division and discord – between rich and poor, between the North and the South, and across religious and political divides – appear to be the defining features of our times.

The high level panel took place at the official Opening session of the world’s largest human rights organization at its biennial International Council Meeting, attended by more than 400 representatives of Amnesty International from every region of the world.

The panellists included Jan Pronk, former Head of the UN Mission in Sudan; Ruth Ojiambo Ochieng, Executive Director of Isis-Women’s International Cross Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE), Uganda; Hernando de Soto, President of the Lima-based ILD; Freshta Raper, an Iraqi Kurd from Halabja who was a victim of torture in her home country in the mid-1980s; Nader A Fergany, Director of Almishkat Centre for Research and Training in Cairo and lead author of The Arab Human Development Report; and, Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International … (full text).

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