The Human Rights Council opened its 21st session yesterday in Geneva, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commending the actions of the Council on Libya and Syria and stressing that “we must use all our tools to shine the light of human rights everywhere.”
In her address to the Council, since the renewal of her second mandate, UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay stressed numerous challenges that continue to persist and “preoccupy us: poverty, impunity, armed conflicts, refugee flows, discrimination, religious intolerance, arbitrary executions, and the impact of the pervasive economic and financial crisis.”
Pillay expressed concern over the harsh prison sentences against human rights activists in Bahrain, the situation of indigenous communities in Colombia, the attacks on internally displaced persons in Cote d’Ivoire, the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the recent forced closure of Roma camps in France, and the on-going conflict in Syria, which will be addressed later in the session when the Commission of Inquiry presents its latest report.
She also stressed other countries situations that deserve the attention of the Council and the UN Human Rights Office. These include xenophobic attacks in Greece, the recent inter-communal violence in Kenya, the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and the recent events at the platinum mine is South Africa. She also spoke about the situations in the Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sudan and Tunisia.
This should come as a big relief to the Nigerian government and its security agencies who continue to flagrantly abuse the human rights of Nigerians across the country.
Source: Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights