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Put human rights at the centre of coronavirus response urges Muhammad-Bande

Put human rights at the centre of coronavirus response urges Muhammad-Bande

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 03 Jun 2020, 04:12 am

New York: The nations of the world must put human rights at the heart of their ongoing response to COVID-19 and ensure that everyone can enjoy “justice and peace” wherever they may be, the President of the General Assembly said on Tuesday.

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande delivered the appeal at the start of the annual review of the UN Human Rights Treaty Body System, which is being conducted this year via video-teleconference due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“As we contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, Member States must ensure that international human rights law and standards are at the centre of all responses to the pandemic in order to protect the most vulnerable and marginalized,” he said.

“There is nothing more urgent than ensuring that all human beings, no matter their beliefs, gender, economic condition or other status, are able to live in dignity, with justice and peace,” he said.

The 10 treaty bodies, or committees, are made up of elected independent experts who oversee the  implementation of core human rights instruments and seek to ensure that States parties fulfil their legal obligations.

Over the coming weeks, participants will reflect on ways to promote human rights through cooperation and dialogue, while also tackling such challenges as a backlog of reports from States parties and a lack of adequate resources, Mr. Muhammad-Bande said.

With the UN marking its seventy-fifth anniversary this year, and the deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals just 10 years away, “it is crucial that we uphold the inalienable rights which safeguard the people we serve,” the President added.

Creative thinking and innovation: Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, also speaking on Tuesday, said the COVID-19 pandemic opens a window of opportunity for treaty bodies to rethink and expand their methods of work for greater impact on the ground.

“Creative thinking and innovation are needed to address the immediate risk of protection gaps and to strengthen longer-term working methods,” she told an informal meeting of treaty body Chairs.

She emphasized that while online exchanges with victims and civil society can be helpful, they can never fully replace in-person meetings.


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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm