Jan 15 2013 Posted: 09:51 GMT

NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties will host a seminar acknowledging Ireland’s first term as a newly elected member of the UN Human Rights Council, which began on 1 January 2013. The seminar, Ireland and the Human Rights Council – Where to From Here? will take place on Friday, 1 February in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway.

This one-day seminar will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by Ireland’s recent election to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The event will bring together a range of experts from the field of human rights, including H.E. Gerry Corr, Irish Ambassador to the United Nations, to draw up a list of recommendations that can inform Ireland’s term of office on the Council.

Other speakers at the seminar will include: Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director, Amnesty International (Irish Section); Mary Lawlor, Founder and Executive Director, Frontline Defenders; Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Co-Director, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway; Suzanne Egan, Lecturer, School of Law, University College Dublin; Dr Niamh Reilly, Senior Lecturer in Global Women’s Studies, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway; Julie de Rivero, Geneva Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch; and Caoimhe de Barra, Head of International Department, Trócaire.

Professor Ray Murphy, Co-Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway said: “The seminar will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by Ireland’s recent election to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The aim of the event is to address questions regarding the commitments made by Ireland during its election campaign, how Ireland can best contribute to the agenda of the Council, and the leadership role that Ireland can play in the promotion of human rights.”

The Human Rights Council, which was established in 2006 by the UN General Assembly, is the most important UN body for the protection and promotion of human rights. The 47 member Council is an inter-governmental body within the UN system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world and for addressing situations of human rights violations. The Council has a number of mechanisms at its disposal including Universal Periodic Review to assess human rights practices in member states, the Advisory Committee, which serves as the Council’s “think tank” providing it with expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues, and the Complaint Procedure, which allows individuals and organisations to bring human rights violations to the attention of the Council.

To register for the seminar, or to view the programme, visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=203

For further information on the seminar contact Annabel Egan in the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway on 091 493946 or annabel.egan@nuigalway.ie.


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