UN Human Rights Council Update: 25 September 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007 7:35 AM

The Human Rights Council (the Council) continued the review, rationalisation and improvement of special procedures mandates (the review) with the consideration of the mandate of the Independent Expert appointed by the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in Haiti. All States that took the floor, including Haiti itself, praised the current mandate holder, Mr Louis Joinet, for his work and the positive impact it had had in Haiti. A number of general comments were made regarding the process of the review, with some insisting that a more ‘holistic’ approach needed to be found – a proposal made by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) more than a year ago when the Council began its institution-building work.

The Council also continued consideration of Item 9 entitled ‘racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance: follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action’. It heard updates by the Chairperson of the Preparatory Committee for the Durban Review Conference, by the Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the effective implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, and by the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights’ on the High Commissioner's report on defamation of religions.

A large number of States and NGOs took part in the debate, which centred on the implementation of the recommendations of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (the Durban Declaration), the need for the 2009 Durban Review Conference to address pre-existing, contemporary, and emerging manifestations of racism, to fill protection gaps, and to promote inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and the need for new international standards to address contemporary and new manifestations of racism and intolerance, including defamation of religion and Islamophobia.

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