martes, 22 de marzo de 2011

Recommends Proclaiming 24 March as International Day for Right to Truth on Gross Human Rights Violations



UN Human Rights Council
Fourteenth session
& Organizational Session of the Human Rights Council for its 5th Cycle
31 May - 18 June & 21 June 2010

Recommends Proclaiming 24 March as International Day for Right to Truth on Gross Human Rights Violations, Requests Draft Declaration on Right of Peoples to Peace

17 June 2010


In a resolution (A/HRC/14/L.11) on the Proclamation of 24 March as the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, adopted by consensus without a vote, the Council recommends that the General Assembly proclaim 24 March the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims; invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, and civil society entities, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims in an appropriate manner; requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all States Members of the United Nations.

ALVARO ENRIQUE AYALA MELENDEZ (Colombia), introducing L.11 on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries, thanked all delegations that had supported this initiative.

CARMEN ELENA CASTILLO-GALLANDAT (El Salvador), also introducing the resolution, said that in this resolution the Council requested the United Nations General Assembly to proclaim March 24 as the International Day for the Right to the Truth of Victims of Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. The 1970s and 1980s had been turbulent times for many countries of the region. At that time, El Salvador went through difficult times, characterized by the police and military authorities, and there had been massive protests and an internal armed conflict that finally finished with United Nations mediation. In this context, Mr. Oscar Romero had made particular efforts. Mr. Romero had always denounced serious human rights violations and ruled out armed conflict and confrontation. Mr. Romero’s dedication to the most vulnerable came to an end with his killing in 1980. With this resolution, El Salvador would like to commemorate all of those who had been victims of gross human rights violations, and all those who had been killed in their fight to promote and protect human rights, as was the case of Mr. Romero.

SEBASTIAN ROSALES (Argentina), in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the right to truth was the right to recognise victims of human rights violations and their families. Above all, it was a call to justice. During the last coup d’etat in Argentina, there were massive violations of human rights and in this context Argentina had adopted the law that highlighted the memory and the need to commemorate victims.

PETER GOODERHAM (United Kingdom), in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said the United Kingdom fully supported truth and reconciliation and said it was important to enable the victims and societies to come to terms with violations and to move forward. The right to truth could be characterised differently in different legal systems. In the United Kingdom it was characterised as freedom of information. The United Kingdom acknowledged the importance of Mr. Romero and his work for the region and was pleased to support this draft resolution.

ZAHOOR AHMED (Pakistan), speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said Pakistan supported the overall thrust of the resolution and thanked the sponsors who had accommodated some of its recommendations. The context of the right to the truth had already been elaborated in a Human Rights Council resolution as the right to freedom to seek and impart information. The title had been adapted and Pakistan thanked the sponsors for their understanding.

MARK J. CASSAYRE (United States), speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said the United States was pleased to join the consensus. The right to the truth served to advance the respect for the rule of law, accountability, justice, and good governance, which were all key principles of a democratic society. The United States strongly supported those principles in practice and had supported programmes which encouraged dialogue, truth commissions, and forensic research in the effort to uncover the truth behind gross human rights violations. The United States observed that the right to the truth was closely related to the right to seek, receive and impart information, and that it may be characterized differently in some legal systems, such as that of the United States as the right to be informed, freedom of information, or the right to know. With regard to the right to know, the United States continued to acknowledge that a right to know was referred to in the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. Although the United States was not a party to that instrument, and had no obligations under it vis-à-vis a right to know, it supported the principle that families had a right to know the fate of their missing family members.