The United Nations called Switzerland's ban on new minarets "clearly discriminatory" and deeply divisive, and the Swiss foreign minister acknowledged Tuesday the government was very concerned about how the vote would affect the country's image. U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said Sunday's referendum to outlaw the construction of minarets in Switzerland was the product of "anti-foreigner scare-mongering."
The Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Rashida Manjoo, seizes the opportunity of the International Day on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November) to present her approach to the mandate, both in terms of thematic priorities and cooperation with other mechanisms, with a view to enhance efforts to eliminate violence against women.
Pakistani sociologist Ms. Farida Shaheed has taken office as newly appointed Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights, one of the latest areas earmarked for special monitoring by the UN Human Rights Council. My decades of work at the grassroots in promoting human rights leaves me in no doubt that the right to cultural life and cultural development is an essential and inherent right of all individuals and peoples, said Ms. Shaheed, who was appointed by the Human Rights Council in October 2009.
Acknowledging and recognizing the hard work and struggles of many women who have walked with us to this point and paying tribute to those who have passed on, we, close to 700 women and girls representing women’s movements from the Asia and Pacific Region, reaffirm the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) as a strategic document for women and girls empowerment, human rights, peace, human security and gender-inclusive development and as a key tool for advancing government’s commitments to the Millennium Development Goals. (MDGs)
In April 2005, the Commission on Human Rights, in resolution 2005/80, decided to appoint, for a period of three years, a special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. Like other Special Procedures, this mandate was assumed by the Human Rights Council (General Assembly resolution 60/251), and extended for one year, subject to the review to be undertaken by the Council (Human Rights Council decision 2006/102).
The Covention on the Elimination of all forms of Discriminations Against Women adopted in 1969 by the United Nations General Assembly is described as an international bill of rights for women. The Covention establishes an agenda of action for putting an end to sex-based discrimination.