Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This just in from the United Nations . . .
The first United Nations human rights office in the European Union opened today in Brussels, marking what the world body’s top rights official hopes will be a new era of cooperation with countries in the region.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is headquartered in Geneva but has never before opened a national or regional office in Western Europe.
“We already have 10 other regional offices in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, and we are now present in 55 countries around the world in all. Europe was in many ways the missing piece in the puzzle,” High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said as she opened the new office at the EU’s headquarters in Brussels.
The main aim of the new Regional Office, she said, will be to strengthen engagement with European countries in the implementation of international human rights standards as well as to forge stronger partnerships with regional organizations such as the EU and its relevant institutions. The office would also work with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.