UN Specialists for Local Human Rights Symposium


Two United Nations specialists, Ms. Maarit Kohonen and Dr. Jonathan Gallagher, are among the diverse, high-powered panel of presenters slated for the human rights symposium, “Justice, Truth and Accountability,” to be held on February 22 and 23, 2005 at the Northern Caribbean University.
Ms. Kohonen, representing the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address on Tuesday, February 22, as well as make a special presentation on the topic “Human Rights and Development” on Wednesday afternoon. She has been with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the past 13 years, during which time she has been on investigative missions to South Africa, Haiti, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Rwanda, among others.
Ms. Kohonen, is currently on secondment in Guyana and is involved with integrating a rights-based approach to UN development activities in that country.
Dr. Jonathan Gallagher, who is Secretary of the U.N. NGO Committee on Religion or Belief, a recognized committee of the United Nations Council of NGOs in Consultation with the Economic and Social Council, is slated to present a paper on “Religion and Human Rights” at the plenary session on the first day of the symposium.
The author of eight books on various religious themes, and a member of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Dr. Gallagher is also down to lead one of the concurrent sessions at the forum where the issue of “Religious Tolerance and the Right to Worship,” will be examined.
The two-day symposium, organised by the Ministry of Justice and the Northern Caribbean University, is open to all members of the public. The forum will examine the impact of human rights on various areas of the society, including the disabled, the environment, the criminal justice system and the administration of justice, the rights of the child, HIV/AIDS, and social and cultural dimensions hat impact on the practice of human rights in the country.
Among the speakers confirmed to participate in the discussions are Dr. Glenda Simms, Executive Director, Bureau of Women’s Affairs; Miss Alison Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Child Development Agency; Dr. Yitades Gebre, Senior Medical Officer and Executive Director, Jamaica HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Project in the Ministry of Health; and Mrs. Lolita Davis-Mathis, Director, Legal Standards and Enforcement, National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).

JIS Social