Establishment of the International Centre for the Advancement of Human Rights in Buenos Aires, Argentina, under the auspices of UNESCO
On 13 February, the establishment of the International Centre for the Advancement of Human Rights in Buenos Aires, Argentina was the closing event of the year of commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On this occasion, an agreement on the modalities of the Centre’s creation was signed between UNESCO’s Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship, Jorge Taiana.
The establishment of the International Centre for the Advancement of Human Rights follows a decision adopted by UNESCO’s Member States during the 180th session of the Executive Board of the Organization on 17 November 2008 in which they decided to grant it the status of category 2 centre under the auspices of UNESCO (180 EX/Decision 19.II).
The Executive Board also recalled that Argentina has spent more years under dictatorship than under a democratic regime and that more than thirty thousand people disappeared during Argentina’s last military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983. It is highly symbolic that the Centre will be located on the premises of the former Naval School of Mechanical Engineering (ESMA), which served as the largest clandestine detention and extermination centre during the dictatorship. Thus it will transform the place of horror and death into a place of light and life.
For the Government of Argentina, the creation of an International Centre for the Advancement of Human Rights will reinforce public policies on remembrance, truth and justice. Since March 2004, an area dedicated to remembrance, protection and human rights defense has been established by Argentina on the premises of the ESMA.
The core objective of the Centre is to enhance and promote education through and for remembrance, considered as an antidote to abuses of human rights and an obvious mechanism for preserving and furthering peace and international security in accordance with Article I of the Constitution of UNESCO.
Through its activities, this international institute will contribute on the national, regional and international levels to the innovation and action in human rights education through research, training, dissemination and exchange of best practices and lessons learnt.
The design, implementation and management of its programmes will be the joint responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Human Rights Secretariat of Argentina in cooperation with UNESCO, and in full compliance with the priorities enshrined in its Strategy on Human Rights.
The International Centre for the Advancement of Human Rights, which should open officially in 2010 on the occasion of the 200th Anniversary of the Argentine Republic, will thus provide a significant contribution to UNESCO’s action to promote Human Rights on the international level.
- Watch the video on the establishment of the International Centre (Windows Media file, in Spanish)
- UNESCO commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1948 - 2008
Events related to the social and human sciences programme of UNESCO in February 2009:
- 5 February: UNESCO Workshop on Training of Ethics for Youth. Bangkok, Thailand.
- 9-13 February: Gender Studies Network Conference. Bangkok, Thailand.
- 12-14 February: Assisting Bioethics Committees (ABC) Training Session on Working Methods. Antananarivo, Madagascar.
- 23-25 February: 1st Sub-Regional Conference of the African Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination. Durban, South Africa.
- 23-25 February: Working Group Meetings of the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS). Paris, France.
UNESCO - Sector for Social and Human Sciences
SHS e-News 35 / February 2009
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