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Back to listSep 27, 2007

SGI Representative Makes NGO Statement at UN Human Rights Council

At the sixth session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on September 27, 2007, an SGI representative made a joint NGO oral statement at the plenary meeting on technical assistance and capacity building. The statement was produced by the Geneva-based NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education & Learning (NGO WG on HREL).

First session of the UN Human Rights Council (June 2006)

SGI and the World Federation of UN Associations worked together to draft the statement to support the proposal of Costa Rica to extend by two years the first phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education (WPHRE). SGI UN Liaison Officer in Geneva Kazunari Fujii, currently chair of the NGO WG on HREL, spoke on behalf of the 17 organizations which put their names to the statement. SGI also endorsed another joint NGO oral statement by 12 organizations that expressed a wish to further promote human rights education in light of the upcoming 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

While stressing the need for much more activity in this area, Mr. Fujii expressed his satisfaction that for the first time in one session, the Human Rights Council adopted three resolutions focusing on or closely related to human rights education.

The first was the resolution to extend the first phase of the WPHRE until 2009, sponsored by the government of Costa Rica. The second was a decision that the Council's Advisory Committee of experts be tasked with preparing a draft UN declaration on human rights education and training. This was jointly sponsored by the governments of Switzerland and Morocco. The third was a resolution to broaden and monitor human rights education and public information activities to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, sponsored by the government of Italy.

Mr. Fujii participated in the consultation meetings on all three resolutions and exchanged views and information with the sponsoring government delegates on behalf of the NGO WG on HREL.

[Adapted from a report from SGI UN Liaison Officer in Geneva Kazunari Fujii; photo courtesy of the OHCHR website]