Conectas Human Rights, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, CIVICUS: Worldwide Alliance for Citizen Participation and Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development invite scholars and practitioners to submit articles for Sur Journal’s Issue No. 19, to be published in December 2013, with a focus on Foreign Policy and Human Rights. In its 19th issue, SUR intends to promote a debate on the relationship between foreign policy and human rights, with particular emphasis on emerging and rising powers from the Global South.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have played an important role in placing key issues on the development agenda that might have otherwise been neglected. Importantly, the MDGs have resulted in the generation and collection of more targeted data, which have been used to influence national and international development policies and measures. Nevertheless, the MDGs, while welcomed by the international development community, were met with skepticism by many who questioned the wisdom of framing as political commitments matters already codified as legal obligations under international human rights law. One key shortcoming of the MDG framework was its failure to fully reflect the promise of the Millennium Declaration in which countries resolved to strive for the full protection and promotion of all human rights. Indeed, more than a decade after the adoption of the Millennium Declaration, experience has shown that issues left out of a universally-agreed agenda are not effectively monitored and reported on, and easily become blind spots when priorities are set, policies defined or budgets allocated.
Nairobi: The Report of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (the Commission) has been produced at a critical moment in Kenya’s history. Just two months earlier in March 2013, Kenyans concluded a largely peaceful General Election, adding impetus to the need for solutions that will entrench a lasting spirit of peace, national unity, dignity, healing, justice and reconciliation. Established in the wake of the tragic and devastating events of the 2007/2008 Post-Election Violence (PEV), the Commission has produced this Report as the culmination of a process that lasted four years and took the Commission to all regions of the country.
Statement of Human Rights Defenders on the need for an integrated and comprehensive approach to the Protection of Human Rights related to sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions at the Human Rights Council.
To Foreign Ministers of African Union member states: We, the undersigned African civil society organisations and international organisations with a presence in Africa, working on human rights and international criminal justice, are pleased to congratulate the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU), on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary. We commend the Organisation for its key achievements during the past 50 years and to express our continued commitment in working with the AU towards promoting and protecting human rights, peace, and justice on the Continent. In this regard, we wish to take this occasion to applaud the AU and the African continent for:
Abuja: It has become necessary for me to address you on the recent spate of terrorist activities and protracted security challenges in some parts of the country, particularly in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Kano, Plateau and most recently Bayelsa, Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa states. These unfortunate events have led to needless loss of lives and property of many innocent Nigerians including members of our security forces.
Johannesburg: The Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission, Adv. Lawrence Mushwana has been inaugurated as the new Chairperson of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. Adv. Mushwana took over the reins from Dr Mousa Burayzat, Chairperson of the Jordanian National Centre for Human, Rights during the session in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday. This is a historical occasion in that this is the first time that Africa heads the office of the Chairperson of the ICC.
Brussels: 2013 is the European Year of Citizens. But it takes more than just a year to tear down barriers for our citizens. It takes concrete actions. This is what the Commission is delivering today with its second EU citizenship Report: 12 concrete actions to make life simpler for EU citizens; to boost their rights wherever they work, live travel or shop across our Union. Over the past year, my colleagues in the Commission and I have listened to citizens: we have carried out public consultations on citizens' rights (I remember it was exactly a year ago that I launched this consultation from this podium).
Kinshasa: Serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law were committed in November 2012 during fighting between government forces and rebels of the Mouvement du 23 mars(M23) over the town of Goma in North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and during the subsequent retreat of the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) to South Kivu province, a UN report has found. The report by the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) details victim and witness accounts of mass rape, killings and arbitrary executions, and violations resulting from widespread looting. It noted that particularly systematic and violent abuse was committed by some FARDC elements as they retreated from the towns of Goma and Sake in North Kivu province and regrouped in and around the town of Minova in South Kivu.
Johannesburg: The entry into force of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in 2002 is likely the most significant event in the coming-of-age of international criminal justice. Many have thought this because it established the first ever permanent court tasked with adjudicating international crimes. Certainly this is an enormous development. But the greater significance of the Rome Statute may be its recognition that the primary location in which international criminal justice is to be secured is the state most directly affected. Only if that state is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out investigations and prosecutions is the ICC authorised to intervene. It is this – the principle of complementarity – that is the real hallmark of international criminal justice today.