UN related

Ms. Laura Dupuy Laserre
President of the Human Rights Council
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Your Excellency,

We, the international solidarity network Women Living Under Muslim Laws, the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies, the Violence is Not Our Culture International Campaign and the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, and the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights are writing to express our appreciation for your support and leadership in hosting the upcoming panel at the UN Human Rights Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

On the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we might consider whether the idea of human rights with their firm assertions, their belief in the ‘rule of law,’ and their globalised vision remain relevant in the world. The idea that there are absolute standards has come under attack from both the left and the right. The philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre , author of 'After Virtue', said, Natural rights and self evident truths proclaimed in the American declaration of independence are tantamount to belief in witches and unicorns. While from the left, in ‘Human Rights and Empire’, Costas Douzinashas called human rights the political philosophy of cosmopolitanism and argued that human rights now codify and ‘constitutionalise ‘ the normative sources of Empire.

In wake of the exclusion of Afghan women from the ‘peace process’ at the Bonn Conference taking place on the 5th of December 2011,

WLUML vigorously denounces:

The International Criminal Court (ICC) will investigate Libyan President Muammar Al-Qadhafi’s regime for crimes against humanity in repressing peaceful protesters, as a top United Nations official today called for global action to avert a humanitarian disaster inside the country. ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said today preliminary examination of available information shows that an investigation is warranted after the Security Council last week asked him to look into the violent repression in which more than 1,000 people are reported to have been killed and many more injured as Mr. Qadhafi’s loyalists opened fire on peaceful civilians demanding his ouster.

قال مدعي عام المحكمة الجنائية الدولية، لويس مورينو أوكامبو، اليوم إن المحكمة ستجري تحقيقا في ارتكاب نظام الرئيس الليبي معمر القذافي جرائم ضد الإنسانية، بينما دعت الأمم المتحدة إلى اتخاذ إجراء عاجل لتفادي أزمة إنسانية في البلاد. وقال أوكامبو اليوم إن التحقيقات الأولية من المعلومات المتاحة توضح بأن هناك أمر بإجراء تحقيق، وذلك بعد أن طلب مجلس الأمن الأسبوع الماضي من المحكمة النظر في القمع العنيف للتظاهرات في ليبيا مما أسفر حسب التقارير الواردة عن مقتل أكثر من 1000 شخص وإصابة آخرين. وسيقدم أوكامبو في مؤتمر صحفي غدا لمحة عامة حول الجرائم التي يزعم ارتكابها في ليبيا منذ الخامس عشر من شباط/فبراير والمعلومات المتعلقة بالهيئات والأشخاص الذين يمكن محاسبتهم.

At a historic General Assembly session this afternoon, the GA voted, by consensus, to suspend Libya’s membership in the Human Rights Council.  In her remarks, Ambassador Rice said, “This unprecedented action sends another clear warning to Mr. Qadhafi and those who still stand by him: they must stop the killing. When the only way a leader can cling to power is by grossly and systematically violating his own people’s human rights, he has lost any legitimacy to rule. He must go, and he must go now.”  Rice also spoke to reporters after the vote. 

"Nous allons tout simplement au delà de la revendication qui est celle portant sur l'égalité des sexes, c´était hier ! Aujourd´hui, nous réclamons des compétences techniques et spécialisées à partir desquelles nous pourrons utiliser des outils efficaces pour amener la volonté politique dans la réalité de tous les secteurs en matière de genre." Citation de la déclaration par SE Madame Awa Ndiaye, Ministre d’Etat, Ministre du Genre et des Relations avec les Associations féminines Africaines et Etrangères - Dakar, Sénégal, 30 Novembre 2010.

“We are moving beyond simply asking for gender equality, that was then! We are now calling for technical and specialized skills to use effective tools in bringing the political will into reality across all sectors in terms of gender” - HE Mrs Awa Ndiaye, Minister of State for Gender and Relations with African and Foreign Women Associations. Dakar, Senegal, on Nov 30, 2010.

Women Living Under Muslim Laws is nominating WLUML board member Ms. Zarizana Abdul Aziz from Malaysia as the most knowledgeable and experienced candidate for the Asia representative of the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice. You can find a copy of Zarizana Abdul Aziz’s CV here: http://www.wluml.org/sites/wluml.org/files/CV_Zarizana%20Abdul%20Aziz_2010.pdf and instructions on how to make your endorsement follow.

It took years to make the United Nations' newest agency, UN Women, a reality, and then just one day to effectively kill it. Death was effected by allowing onto its board a kingdom where women are not just infamously prohibited from driving but are also virtual minors who need a male guardian's permission to travel and to have surgery — and must be covered from head to toe in public. As one of two countries guaranteed seats as emerging donor nations, Saudi Arabia essentially bought its way onto the board of UN Women, which is dedicated to gender equality around the world. Just three days after securing an automatic seat, Saudi Arabia gave us a reminder of just how oxymoronic its place on UN Women is, when its team showed up at the Asian Games in China without a single woman among the 180-strong delegation.

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