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GENEVA – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, will conduct an official visit to Algeria from 1 to 10 November 2010 at the invitation of the Government. “During my visit, I intend to meet with national stakeholders involved in fighting all aspects related to violence against women, with a view to appreciate the phenomenon in Algeria. I will also seize the opportunity of this mission to review progress made since the visit of my predecessor in 2007”, said the human rights expert, who will travel to Alger, Constantine, Oran and Hassi-Messaoud. 

The traditional values underpinning international human rights: How can they contribute to promotion and protection? (Room XXI, Palais des Nations, Geneva, 4 October 2010) Thank you, honourable members of the panel, friends and colleagues in the international human rights community, good afternoon. On behalf of the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women, we welcome the opportunity to participate in the discussion on the relationship between human rights and traditional values.    

 جنيف –في 1 أكتوبر/تشرين الأول 2010، في الدورة الخامسة عشرة لمجلس حقوق الإنسان، إعتمدت الدول الأعضاء بتوافق الآراء قرارا بإنشاء آلية جديدة للتعجيل بالقضاء على التمييز ضد المرأة في القوانين وفي الممارسة العملية. وتقول فايزة جاما محمد، مديرة مكتب المساواة الآن في نيروبي إن "هذا تتويج للعمل الشاق الذي قام به الكثيرون في الحكومات والمجتمع المدني". وقد أدت منظمة المساواة الآن الدولية المعنية بحقوق الإنسان دورا رائدا في الدراسة المنهجية لمدى إنتشار القوانين التي تميز على أساس الجنس في أنحاء العالم، وإقترحت في عام 2001 ضرورة إيجاد إجراء خاص جديد داخل إطار الأمم المتحدة مكرس للقضاء على التمييز ضد المرأة في القوانين.

Le 1er octobre 2010, lors de la 15ème session du Conseil des droits de l’Homme (CDH), les États membres ont adopté par consensus une résolution pour la création d’un nouveau mécanisme destiné à accélérer l'élimination des discriminations à l’égard des femmes, en droit et en pratique. « Cette résolution marque l’apogée de l’effort intensif et de longue durée accompli par tant de personnes, aussi bien au niveau des États et des organisations internationales que de la société civile », a expliqué Faiza Jama Mohamed, Directrice du Bureau d’Egalité Maintenant à Nairobi.

"On 1 October 2010 at the 15th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), member states adopted by consensus a resolution to create a new mechanism to accelerate the elimination of discrimination against women in law and practice. “This is the culmination of the hard work of so many in government and civil society,” said Faiza Jama Mohamed, Nairobi Office Director of Equality Now. International human rights organization Equality Now has taken a leading role in systematically studying the pervasiveness of sex discriminatory laws across the globe and in 2005 it proposed the need for a new special procedure within the UN dedicated to eliminating discrimination against women in law.

“It has not been easy to achieve this new mechanism, but the adoption by consensus of the resolution by the Human Rights Council has given us confidence that governments around the world are taking the issue of women’s equality seriously. Through the course of this journey it was heart-warming to witness the support of so many nations from all regions of the world and the strong backing of a large coalition of non-governmental organizations. The groundswell of support has underscored both the universality of the problem of discrimination against women and a firm global resolve to prioritize a systematic end to it,” said Ms. Mohamed.

The Global campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women (SKSW Campaign) welcomes the appointment of Michelle Bachelet as the first Under-Secretary-General for the new UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). In her first interview with UN radio, Ms. Bachelet noted that ‘women do not have the same opportunities as men regarding the most essential human rights. Women are discriminated [against]. Their rights are violated. There are still some places where women are mutilated. There are places where women can receive terrible punishments.”[1]

“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).

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