During the month of March, the UN Human Rights Council convened for its
10th regular session. Conectas Human Rights, with the support of the
Democracy Coalition Project (DCP), took part in this session with the
main objective of calling the attention of the representatives of the
Council?s countries to themes such as the post-electoral situation in
Zimbabwe and the democratic crisis in Burma.
In addition to its
participation as an official member of the program, Conectas also
promoted a meeting between Zimbabwean activists and the delegation of
the GRULAC (Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries) to discuss
the situation in Zimbabwe and encourage greater involvement in the
region. One of these activists was Okay Machisa of the Zimbabwe Human
Rights Association; his participation at the 10th session was
facilitated by Conectas.
Conectas, moreover, gave him the opportunity to make an oral statement (click here to watch the speech)
on his behalf during the plenary session. “Civil society in Zimbabwe
sent a message to the international community denouncing the
humanitarian, human rights, and governance crises through the oral
presentation made in the plenary, which would not have been possible
without Conectas”, said Machisa.
In regard to Burma’s case, in
addition to co-signing an oral statement made by Forum Asia, Conectas
also helped to promote a side-event in order to mobilize the present
delegations to include the issue in the session?s formal discussions.
during this regular session, a report with the final recommendations of
the Universal Periodic Review in Cape Verde was approved. With the
collaboration of Margareth da Luz, a Cape Verdean lawyer and human
rights activist participant in Conectas?s Human Rights Program, Conectas
made an oral statement in the plenary session, highlighting the issue
of domestic violence as one of the items not adequately addressed by the
recommendations. (Click here to watch the speech).
to Lucia Nader, Conectas’s International Relations coordinator, who
followed the session in Geneva, “The participation of NGOs of the Global
South in the UN Human Rights Council, raising issues not just
their home countries, is fundamental for the strengthening of human
rights protection. Working together with activists Zimbabwe, Burma
and Cape Verde, for instance, enriched Conectas’s participation in this
During the session 34 resolutions were adopted.
Conectas closely followed Brazil’s positions and regrets that it
abstained voting for a resolution about human rights violations in
North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). Another concern
was Brazil’s vote against the resolution that determines the publication
of reports prepared by the defunct Sub Commission on Human Rights. The
only countries that voted against this resolution were Brazil, India and
the Republic of Mauritius.