27th session of Human Rights Council
- Category: Human Rights
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The 27th session of Human Rights Council was held between 8- 26 September 2014. The newly appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein opened the session with an update on the activities of his office. In his remarks, Mr. Al Hussein recalled his experience of serving with the UN Protection Force in the former Yugoslavia and said “there is no justification ever, for the degrading, the debasing or the exploitation of other human beings – on whatever basis; nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age or caste.’’ He spoke on the Israel-Palestine conflict and on the human rights situation in different regions including Syria, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka. He expressed his office’s concern on the human rights situation of migrants around the world.
Mr. Al Hussein stressed on the need for the international community to bend the course of humanity’s future into a destination of hope and enlightenment. He said that his office will extend all possible assistance, to States in efforts of heightening their protection and promotion of human rights.
During the three week session, the Council convened thematic Panel Discussions, interactive dialogues with Independent Experts, Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups on a range of human rights issues. The thematic reports of the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights were presented which were followed by general debates.
The report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria was presented and Member States, Observer States, NHRI’s and NGO’s expressed their views. The human rights situations in Ukraine, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Sri Lanka and Iraq in light of abuses committed by the so called ISIL were also discussed.
The 47 member Council approved the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group reports on the following 14 countries: Norway, Albania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Portugal, Bhutan, Dominica, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Brunei Darussalam, Costa Rica, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Qatar and Nicaragua.
The delegation of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan commended the Kingdom of Bhutan for the receptive and constructive manner in which it participated in the UPR process. The two recommendations that Afghanistan had made enjoyed the support of Bhutan and the delegation expressed Afghanistan’s appreciation of the fact.
10th Session of Euro-Asia Transport Links (EATL)
- Category: Economic
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The 10th session of the Group of Experts on Euro-Asia Transport Links (EATL) was held on 27-28 May 2014 in Geneva. The Euro-Asian Transport Links (EATL) is a joint undertaking between the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). The EATL works in the framework of the Working Party on Transport Trends and Economics (WP.5), an intergovernmental body that provides a pan-European forum for exchange of ideas concerning sustainable inland transport across the pan-European region. The EATL project has identified main Euro-Asian road and rail routes for priority development and cooperation.
The following Member States participated in the 10th session: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Belgium, Germany, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Turkey, and Ukraine. The Trans-European Railway (TER), the Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF), the International Union of Railways (UIC) and the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Lithuanian Railways were also participating in the session.
Mr. Jarullah Mansory, Deputy Minister of Transport, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation was representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the 10th session.
Views were exchanged on the importance of ports as starting/ending points of EATL rail and road routes between Asia and Europe. In addition, demand for an improved overland links in Central and East Asia was noted during the session. It was also noted that an increasing number of shipping companies were investing in ports hinterland connections through the establishment of rail operators in order to provide door to door services to clients. The experts in the session clarified that the aim of EATL was to create an integrated land transport network that efficiently delivers goods along Euro-Asian corridors.
The Human Rights Council 26th Session
- Category: Human Rights
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The 26th session of the Human Rights Council was held from 10th to 27th of June, bringing together all member and observer states and non-governmental organizations to discuss the on-going human rights issues and challenges around the world.
On 10th of June, President of Human Rights council delivered a statement and declared the opening of the session. Following that Ms. Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights addressed the council for the last time as High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ms. Pillay pointed out that her office has worked impartially, based on commitment to truth, with no tolerance for double standards over six years that she was leading the office, and hoped that the Office of High Commissioner would continue its work impartially.
The main issues that 26th session of the Human Rights Council focused on were right to freedom of opinion and expression, rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, violence and discrimination against women, trafficking in persons, especially women and children, female genital mutilation, child, early and forced marriage, independence of judges and lawyers , extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, human rights of internally displaced persons, human rights of migrants, safety of journalists, human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, and extreme poverty and human rights. Moreover, the human rights situation in Syrian Arab Republic, Belarus, Democratic Republic of Korea, Palestine and other occupied territories were discussed along the session.
Furthermore, the Human Right Council considered and adopted the final outcome of the second cycle of the UPR of Afghanistan, New Zealand, Chile, Yamane, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Macedonia, Slovakia, Eretria, Dominican Republic, Viet Nam and Cambodia.
At the beginning of consideration and adoption of final outcome of the second cycle of the UPR of Afghanistan, in his statement Dr. Mohammad Qasim Hashimzai, the head of the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, provided the council with the view on the recommendations Afghanistan has during the UPR Working Group Session which was held on 27 January 2014. Mr. Hashimzai stated that Afghanistan received 224 recommendations during the working group session, where 178 of them were supported by the Afghan Government and the rest were transferred to Kabul where after the consideration 10 recommendations are accepted, 12 are rejected and 23 are still under discussions and reconsideration, to which the response will be provided in proper time.