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Department of Public Information (DPI)
4 September 2008
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
DPI/NGO CONFERENCE HOLDS PANEL DISCUSSION ON ‘HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMAN SECURITY’
(Received from a UN Information Officer.)
This afternoon, “Human Rights and Human Security” was the theme of the third round-table discussion held at the sixty-first Department of Public Information (DPI)/Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conference, convened for three days at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris to discuss the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Joanna Weschler, Director of Research of the Security Council Report, moderated the panel, which included four other human rights experts, who looked at a number of concrete challenges in Africa, the United States and elsewhere, and the role of the United Nations and non-governmental organizations in this area.
In questions from the floor, concern was raised about the fate of the 1.5 million Palestinians trapped in Gaza by Israeli security measures. Another speaker said it was important to increase prevention, rather than security measures. The Security Council should not go directly to Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter as the basis of its resolutions, passing by Chapter 6, which set out the path for the peaceful settlement of disputes, including by addressing issues to the International Court of Justice. A speaker also called for a clear distinction to be preserved between military security and human security.
Responding on the issue of Palestine, a panellist said it was exactly in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that the recent spate of Security Council resolutions requiring States to adopt terrorism legislation – in the absence of any concrete definition of terrorism –- was so worrisome. Human rights and security should never be weighed against each other, but should be seen as mutually reinforcing. It was well known that denying human rights to individuals often had the negative effect of radicalising them and making them vulnerable to extremist ideologies. As for the distinction between human and military security, a panellist pointed out that there was no human security for detainees held without due process.
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