UN Human Rights Council Update: 21 September 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007 10:48 AM

The Human Rights Council (the Council) reconvened in plenary session to continue its panel discussion on integrating a gender perspective into the work of the Council. H.E. Ambassador Maria Nzomo of Kenya againmoderated the discussion, which focused on how to integrate a gender perspective into the universal periodic review (UPR) mechanism, the work of the special procedures and the review of their mandates, and the Council’s annual programme of work. Panellists included the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Kyung-wan Kang, Mr Miloon Kothari, Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, and Ms Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary General on children and armed conflict.

The afternoon session was devoted to the interactive dialogue with Ms Radhika Coomaraswamy, following the presentation of her report to the Council. The discussion centred on the plight of child soldiers, their reintegration into society and on measures the Council could take in that regard. Similar to the discussion on ‘gender integration’, Ms Coomaraswamy said the challenge for the Council was to help ‘mainstream’ the issue of children in armed conflict into its work. The question remains what concrete meaning the term ‘mainstreaming’ will be given in the future work of the Council.

The Council then decided on the order of review for countries to be reviewed under the UPR for the whole first cycle of review of four years starting in 2008. However, the exact order of review during each session of the UPR Working Group has only been determined for the first year.

The President began the day’s discussion by stating that the long list of speakers on the topic of integration of a gender perspective into the work of the Council was an indication of the high level of interest in the topic and the success of the Council’s efforts to address the issue. He handed over the discussion to H.E. Ambassador Maria Nzomo of Kenya to moderate the proceedings. All the panellists from yesterday, that is the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Kyung-wan Kang, Mr Miloon Kothari, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing and Ms Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict, were present, with the exception of Ms Charlotte Bunch, executive director of the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership. Ambassador Nzomo opened the floor for the continuation of the general debate that had begun the previous day.

Published in: Council Monitor Daily Update, International Service for Human Rights, 27 September 2007.