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UWI Professor to attend “Vienna+20”: High Level Expert Conference on Human Rights in Vienna

University of the West Indies | 2013-06-19 00:00:00

University Director of the Institute for Gender & Development Studies and Professor of Social History, Prof. Verene Shepherd will participate in the “Vienna + 20” high level expert conference on Human Rights to be held at the Hofburg, Vienna, Austria on June 27 and 28, 2013. The Conference marks the 20th anniversary of the World Conference on Human Rights which took place from 14 to 25 June 1993 in Vienna, Austria, assembling more than 10 000 representatives of States, the United Nations and the global civil society. It made crucial contributions to a new global human rights regime, especially the creation of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  

The Conference will be organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs in cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights (BIM) and the European Training and Research Centre for Democracy and Human Rights of the University of Graz (UNI-ETC).

The Conference will be opened by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, and Austrian Vice-Chancellor Mr. Michael Spindelegger. Over 100 experts from all regions will come together to build on the achievements of the World Conference and examine how the international human rights system can be strengthened further.

While in Vienna, Prof Shepherd, who is also Chair of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, will attend the annual meeting of UN Special Procedures mandate holders (23-26 June) and present a paper on “The Impact of the Financial Crisis on the Human Rights of People of African Descent” at a one-day conference on 1st July focussed on the Financial Crisis and Human Rights organized by the Right to Development section of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights.

It is hoped that action-oriented recommendations developed by the participants will encourage States and other stakeholders to pursue further improvement of human rights protection.

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