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“Nor can we stay quiet when people are denied fundamental rights – whatever their race or faith or age or gender or sexual orientation. It is unfortunate that laws that criminalise people on the basis of their sexual orientation exist in some countries. They should be reformed”.United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Around the world, people face human rights violations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, including killings, criminal sanctions, torture, rape, arbitrary detention, violations of freedom of expression, and discrimination in accessing economic, social and cultural rights. On Friday 17 September, in an event hosted in Geneva, a high-level panel will consider how these urgent matters can best be addressed by the Human Rights Council and other human rights mechanisms.

The United Nations has launched a new operation to combat rape and gender violence in Haiti, where some 1.3 million people were made homeless by January’s devastating earthquake, with the majority still living in camps. Police and soldiers from the UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSTAH) and Haitian national police (PNH), who are often the first responders, are being trained to tackle the problem and ensure medical services for victims, the top UN official in Haiti told the Security Council today.

 The following text is a statement by Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, made in a Side Event sponsored by Women’s UN Report Network, Worldwide Organization for Women and NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva and delivered at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, on 15 September 2010:

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today (14 September) named former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to head United Nations Women (UN Women), a newly created entity to oversee all of the world body’s programmes aimed at promoting women’s rights and full participation in global affairs.

The new body – which will receive a large boost in funding and become operational in January – merges four UN agencies and offices: the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW).

L'ONU s'est dotée vendredi 2 juillet d'une nouvelle structure disposant de forts pouvoirs, chargée d'accélérer l'amélioration de la condition des femmes dans le monde. L'Assemblée générale, où siègent les 192 Etats membres des Nations unies, a adopté à l'unanimité une résolution portant création de cette "Entité de l'ONU pour l'égalité de genre et l'autonomisation des femmes" ou, pour faire plus court, "ONU Femmes".

Some 65 years after it was founded, and after decades of reports on every species of sex discrimination and its wasteful effects, the United Nations has decided to set up a single, powerful body to promote equality for women around the world.

A group of UN human rights experts* today expressed their alarm and deep concern about ethnic tensions that have erupted into violence in the south of Kyrgyzstan, including the cities of Osh and Jalalabad. The violence has reportedly claimed the lives of over one hundred and left many hundreds more injured. A state of emergency has been declared in the region following the outbreak of violence between ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks. The situation has dramatically deteriorated since 11 June with reports of continuing killings and the burning of residences, shops and other properties.

فلسطين:اصوات: نساء فلسطينيات مثليات، تستنكر بحدة الهجوم العنيف على اسطول الحرية 
وتنادي بالبدأ فورا بتحقيق دولي حول الهجوم، معاقبة المسؤولين
ورفع الحصار عن غزه

Human Rights Council, Fourteenth session, 31 May - 18 June 2010, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Report of the Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights, Closing Remarks and Answers: Ms. Farida Shaheed. [English6 minutes. 

There are substantive references to shari'a and gender-based discrimination in the Fourteenth session (Agenda item 3) HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL Advanced edited version of PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF ALL HUMAN RIGHTS, CIVIL, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT. Read the full report here: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/14session/A.HRC.14.22_AEV.pdf

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