NGOs Appeal again to High Commissioner for Human Rights to be a Watchman and blow the trumpet loud and clear at the UN Human Rights Day ceremony in Geneva.
Report by David G. Littman, Representative of the Association for World Education (AWE) and the World Union of Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) to the UN in Geneva:
This letter was delivered to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, on Wednesday afternoon, December 5.
5 December 2007
Mme Louise Arbour
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais Wilson, Geneva
As we all prepare to celebrate Human Rights Day next Monday at the continuation of the 6th session of the Human Rights Council, we wish to express our deep anxiety for its very future. This was expressed on numerous occasions since 2004 — especially in our 23 May 2006 letter to you on Darfur, signed by 43 NGOs, which concluded with a viewpoint, now generally recognised by the international community: “We believe that the role of the new Human Rights Council will be, in part, tested by the way the Darfur conflict is faced.”
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted on 10 December 1948, one day after the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
In his historic address at the Palais des Nations on 7 April 2004, Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared: “We must never forget our collective failure to protect at least 800,000 defenceless men, women and children who perished in Rwanda ten years ago”¦we must all acknowledge our responsibility for not having done more to prevent or stop genocide.”
Yesterday evening, Arte TV devoted two hours to the great tragedy of Darfur, with two moving documentary films, followed by a debate. No one can ignore the Gathering Storm.
At this moment of great anxiety worldwide, we call on you to speak out firmly next week when you address all delegates on this solemn occasion. You are our watchman — clearly described in Ezekiel — who sees the sword approaching and must blow the trumpet loudly — so that all will hear that sound and react strongly to the warning of ongoing devastation.
RenÃ© V.L. Wadlow
David G. Littman
Roy W. Brown
NGO Representatives to the United Nations, Geneva (c/o Case Postale 205, 1196 Gland)