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A new effort in favour of human rights

 

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19th to 30th June 2006

12/07/2006: Switzerland

On the 19th June, the nations of the world undertook a new stage in the work so that men, women, children and young people can fully enjoy their human rights. This date marks the start of a new organism of the United Nations: the Council of Human Rights. This new organism has an importance similar to that of the Security Council and of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and it will be responsible “for promoting the universal respect for the protection of all human rights and the fundamental liberties for all, without distinction of any kind, with justice and equity” according to the resolution of the General Assembly of March 2006 which created this Council. This web site of the United Nations has a lot of information on the change from Commission to Council. You can also consult the following sites:
*www.ohchr.org and www.ishr.ch

For sixty years (1946 – 2006), the subject of human rights has been debated by a Commission which depended on the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). One of its achievements was the writing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and of the seven instruments of international law for these rights, one of which being the Convention of the Rights of the Child (1989). The new Council replaces the Commission, thus giving more importance to human rights in the United Nations and by restructuring the Organisation which, we hope, will help to establish some more efficient mechanisms to assure peace and security between nations, the socio-economic development of people and a more just world which gives everyone an equal chance.
During these days, the representatives of governments held daily meetings to dialogue on the most pressing matters concerning human rights: poverty, discrimination, religious intolerance, armed conflicts, corruption, etc. These realities continue to pose challenges for those who are working for a better world. Procedures for this new Council were also discussed as well as subjects for future sessions and the revision of the former procedures of the previous Commission.
The Marists are not strangers to change. For several years, we have started to explore new presences to educate, form and evangelise in milieux other than formal education to respond to the pressing needs of the children of our communities. We are starting now to be present in international forums to allow the voices of the children and young people with whom we work to be heard. This new presence coincides with changes at the UN. It is a good chance to contribute our wealth as educators and formators, the topicality of our charism, and above all, the life that beats in each school, meeting and activity where there is a heart like that of Marcellin, passionate about God and others. There is the experience and the word that we will share here at the United Nations.
May Mary, our Good Mother, animate us in our work in favour of children and young people! In her song of the Magnificat, she teaches us to magnify the grandeur of God who chooses simple and poor people. United to her, let us proclaim that God wants all his children to have a worthy life.

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