UN Human Rights Council Convenes Special Session on CAR

January 23, 2014|by Ryan Kaminski, Leo Nevas Human Rights Fellow
Just two months after the elections for the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) occurred at UN headquarters in New York, 79 UN members called upon the Council to hold a special session on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR)—including the United States, a current HRC member.

In the aftermath of a wave sectarian violence that has engulfed the country , the number of displaced persons within the CAR has swelled to over one million, with many staying near the capital city’s airport for safety. A January 2014 UN report on the conflict in CAR noted also noted that “a rapid and coordinated response . . . must be a priority for the humanitarian community.”

In a statement to the Council at the launch of the Council special session, the twentieth such session, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon declared, “The CAR is in freefall.  Public service institutions have collapsed.  Security forces have disintegrated,” and issued a call to action noting, “We must act together – and act now – to pull the CAR back from the brink of further atrocities.”  Afterward, members of the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution by consensus—with 99 cosponsors—condemning ongoing violations of rights as well as requesting the immediate appointment a UN independent expert to address the situation in the CAR. The resolution also called for measures to “ensure protection of and assistance to those fleeing the violence, especially women, children and persons with disabilities.”

In February, the UNA-USA Members’ Day Panel “Human Rights Challenges: 2014 and Beyond,” will include expert discussion on the role of the UN in addressing the situation in the CAR.

Labels: Advocacy

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