Philippe LeBlanc, OP, former Permanent Delegate of the Dominican Order at the United Nations, in Geneva, has put together a report on “A Decade of Dominican Presence at the United Nations in Geneva: 1996–2006.” The purpose of the Dominican presence there was to focus on human rights situations in countries where our brothers and sisters were involved in the struggle for justice. The Dominican delegations participated in the public sessions of the UN Commission on Human Rights as well the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, in cooperation with Franciscans International.
This report consists of two volumes that deal with the various issues related to human rights violations and country situations that we were able to raise at the United Nations. The first volume of the report consists of some 400 pages and deals with such issues as:
- The human rights situation in Rwanda;
- The rights of indigenous people in Mexico;
- Ending the sanctions against the people of Iraq;
- The human rights situation in Vieques, Puerto Rico;
- The unjust application of the death penalty and the case of Javier Suarez Medina.
The first volume also deals with the hosting of Bishop Carlos Belo and the special session on East Timor called by the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1999. Other items included: religious discrimination and religious intolerance; the humanitarian concerns related to sanctions; the rights of children; the human rights of women; militarization and displaced persons; impunity; the trafficking of persons; racial discrimination and the right to development and persecution of Christians in some countries.
The report also contains an article entitled “Faith-based NGOs: What contribution at the UN in Geneva?” by Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See at the UN and Other international organizations at the UN. The report also consists of the main public interventions made on a number of topics by Dominicans/Franciscans at the meetings of the UN Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-Commission, in Geneva.
The second volume of the report consists of other issues raised at the UN Commission and Sub-Commission such as:
- The Impunity and responsibility of Mexican authorities in the Acteal case, a Dominican delegation to Chiapas, Mexico in 1998;
- The impact of sanctions on the children of Iraq;
- A message on Iraq from Timothy Radcliffe, OP;
- The administration of justice and human rights;
- The situation of human rights in Colombia;
- The violation of human rights and fundamental freedom in any part of the world;
- The full realization and protection of children and youth;
- A petition to the government of Brazil concerning the Landless rural workers;
- Human rights, mass exoduses and displaced persons;
- Human rights defenders;
- Major resolutions and actions taken by the UN Commission;
- Integration of the human rights of women and the gender perspective;
- Ongoing human rights violations in Papua, Indonesia;
- Religious discrimination in Pakistan;
- The new UN Human Rights Council.
The two volumes of the report are available to those who have an interest in the role that the Order played at the United Nations in its justice work, in collaboration with Franciscans International.
The two volumes are in English and can be obtained for distribution to convents, provincial offices, libraries, institutions, researchers, individuals and other Dominican entities, at a cost of $25 each plus shipping.
Fr. Philippe LeBlanc, OP
Dominican Friars of Toronto
372 Huron Street