Importance of cultural diversity in protecting human rights discussed


JEDDAH — The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) held its 12th regular session from Nov. 19-23 in Jeddah.

The traditional thematic debate of the session was held on Nov. 22 on “The Importance of Cultural Diversity in the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights”. An outcome document was adopted by the commission following the debate.

Besides the commission members, the session was attended by representatives of the OIC Secretary-General, senior officials of the OIC General Secretariat, relevant international human rights experts including Dr. Doudou Diene, former UN special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, and Ambassador Nureldin Satti, former director of UNESCO’s Dar-es-Salaam cluster office. Representatives of OIC member and observer states and their human rights institutions also actively participated in the proceedings.

During five days of meetings, the commission had in-depth discussions on all items on the agenda including Israel’s human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories; civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in OIC member states as well as specific mandate given to it by the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) on such issues as Islamophobia; rights of women and children; right to development; standing mechanism for monitoring human rights situation in Kashmir, as well as human rights situation of Muslim minorities in Myanmar and the Central African Republic.

The commission also received briefings from relevant OIC General Secretariat officials on these subjects, which were instrumental in making informed and comprehensive decisions and recommendations on them.

The commission held a formal ceremony to appreciate the services of outgoing commission members, namely Dr. Saeed Alghufli, Dr. Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin, Prof. Saleh Alkhatlan, Dr. Ergin Ergul, Mahamad Albachir and Ambassador Abdul Wahab. Commemorative shields were presented to them by the IPHRC Chairman Med S. K. Kaggwa and Ambassador Samir Bakr, representative of the OIC secretary-general.

Besides the regular proceedings of the 12th session, the IPHRC Secretariat in collaboration with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has organized a workshop on Thursday. The joint workshop imparted orientation/training on areas related to a) Human Rights Council mechanisms such as Universal Periodic Review, Advisory Committee and Special Procedures; and b) UN Treaty bodies system including how to write periodic reports and related aspects. — SG