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HREA supports NGO resolution to UN Commission on Human Rights

Cambridge, 1 May 2002 -- A dedicated group of NGOs, along with the mission of the government of Costa Rica, wanted to see the Commission on Human Rights pass a resolution on human rights education that had concrete activities. They were eager for an NGO resolution to be prepared, signed by members of the Global Human Rights Education listserv, so that the Commission -- which held its 58th annual session in Geneva from 18 March-26 April 2002 -- would know the human rights education interests of a large, worldwide group of NGOs and individuals. The recommendations were presented as an intervention by OIDEL on Wednesday, 24 April. The Costa Rican delegate coordinated his own resolution with that of the NGO one - so it was a working collaboration.

In April, HREA worked closely with the NGOs -- IMADR, Soka Gakkai International, the Summer University on Human Rights, Pax Romana and the International Organisation for the Development of Freedom of Education -- and the Costa Rican mission in formulating a resolution that would "put teeth" into the Decade for Human Rights Education. Although the Decade for HRE was passed unanimously by the U.N. General Assembly, only a few states have made serious efforts to initiate national programs. The steps contained in the recommendations are designed to encourage concrete movement in this area.

The resolution proposes the appointment of a Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Education; the creation of a voluntary fund to support this person and related activities of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; and workshops aimed at defining priorities and setting agendas for the remaining years of the Decade. A high degree of pragmatism was used in developing these particular ideas, which are considered to be timely and realistic. If even some of these are achieved, it will mean progress in terms of concrete U.N. support for human rights education.

The resolution was distributed via the Global Human Rights Education listserv -- a network that has currently 3,000 members from approximately 150 countries -- and was signed by 90 NGOs from 47 countries, as well as numerous individuals.

NGO resolution on human rights education PDF




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