Info Service on Finance and Development (Feb09/05)
Council to discuss economic and financial crises
Geneva, 18 Feb (Kanaga Raja) -- The UN Human Rights Council will be holding a Special Session on 20 February on the impact of the global economic and financial crises on the universal realization and effective enjoyment of human rights.
Special Session is being convened at the joint request of
their request for the Special Session, the African Group and
this context, both the African Group and
-- Recent studies point to slowdown and recession in major economies and emerging countries. There is a general understanding that global economic growth will fall; export volumes and revenues will decrease; foreign direct investment would be adversely affected; and unemployment will rise and incomes will fall. Human rights would thus be negatively affected by these crises.
-- As the main human rights body of the United Nations, the Human Rights Council must have a say on the issue from its own perspective and contribute positively to the ongoing international and multilateral efforts, as well as to avoid that these crises become also a human rights crisis.
-- A Special Session of the Human Rights Council will thus provide an equally important forum to raise awareness on the urgency of addressing the economic and financial crises from the human rights perspective. It will offer an opportunity to share concerns when dealing with its effects, as well as to highlight the importance of taking into consideration the human rights dimension of policy decisions.
other issues, according to the African Group and
-- What are the already existing and foreseeable impacts of the economic and financial crises to human rights;
-- How can the international community avoid and alleviate the negative impacts of these crises on the universal realization and effective enjoyment of human rights;
-- What role should be played by special UN human rights mandate holders on this issue; and
-- Follow-up on the possible repercussions of these crises on human rights.
The joint request also said that representatives of international organizations from different sectors - finance, trade and development, among others - should also be invited to attend the Special Session with a view to provide the UN membership with their assessment on the impacts of the economic and financial crises on the universal realization and effective enjoyment of all human rights.
The support of one-third of the membership (16 members or more) of the Council is required in order for a Special Session to be convened.
far, 26 Member States of the Council (out of a total of 47) have supported
the request. They are
request was also supported by a number of Observer States:
Special Session on the global economic and financial crises comes one
week after the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors, at a
broader summit of G20 leaders is expected to take place in
industrialized economies grouped under the G7 have been hit the hardest
by the global economic downturn as a result of the financial meltdown,
the origins of which have been traced back to the
US Congress late last week approved a massive $787 billion stimulus
package aimed at kick-starting the ailing
Meanwhile, an initiative is in the works at the United Nations for holding a high-level conference on the global financial and economic crisis and its impacts on development.
The President of the 192-member UN General Assembly, Father Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, has proposed the dates of 26-29 May for holding the high-level meeting at UN headquarters in New York.
Discussions are currently underway among members on the organization of the conference. +