General Assembly: Meetings Coverage

From the very beginning of its independence just 18 years ago, Uzbekistan had sought to protect and promote the civil and political rights of all its citizens and had moved swiftly to adopt legislative, administrative and other measures to that end, such as abolishing the death penalty in 2008, the Director of the country’s National Human Rights Centre told the Human Rights Committee today.
Argentina had made steady strides in breaking with its legacy of military dictatorship, but the repression of those dark years continued to reverberate in ways that could forestall reform efforts, experts on the Human Rights Committee said today as they wrapped up consideration of that county’s fourth periodic report on compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Addressing a panel of United Nations rights experts, Luis Duhalde, Secretary of Human Rights of Argentina, highlighted his country’s efforts to protect and promote such rights and provide justice for all its citizens, as he declared the determination of his Government to overcome the lingering effects of repressive laws promulgated during Argentina’s military dictatorship, which ruled from 1976 to 1983.
While recognizing measures taken by the Mexican Government to reconcile the country’s national legislation with its obligations under international human rights treaties, experts on the Human Rights Committee today expressed concern that the means of addressing incompatibilities between those treaties and laws below the constitutional level remained unclear.
While Mexico was working to build a participatory democracy that protected fundamental freedoms, the Government faced complex challenges in closing gaps in human rights legislation and reforming the laws, policies, and practices that gave rise to them, a senior official in Mexico’s Interior Ministry told the Human Rights Committee today as it began its ninety-sixth session.
Responding to the Secretary-General’s report on a proposed “accountability system”, speakers in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today urged that more attention be given to what the United Nations leadership could do to foster a sense of personal responsibility among staff, in order to better address what some saw as weak links between resource allocation and desired results.
Assistant Secretary-General and United Nations Controller Jun Yamazaki today presented the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) with the Secretary‑General’s request for an additional $1 million for three special political missions -- the United Nations Representative on the International Advisory and Monitoring Board of the Development Fund for Iraq, the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban, and the Monitoring Group on Somalia.
Recognizing the tremendous global burden of fatalities resulting from road crashes, as well as the 20 million to 50 million people sustaining non-fatal traffic-related injuries each year, the General Assembly today proclaimed the period 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety, with the goal of stabilizing and eventually reducing the number deaths and injuries.
As the General Assembly gathered to mark the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action which remains the most far-reaching international commitment to women’s rights senior United Nations officials today told hundreds of women delegates that the fight against the disadvantages they still faced must continue, because gender equality and empowerment of women and girls was not just a goal in itself, but a key to long-term development, economic growth, and social advancement for all.