36th Session of the Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.

Changing population age structures and sustainable development

The 50th session of the UN Commission on Population and Development will be held from 3 to 7 April 2017.


Ms. Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani (Qatar) – Asia-Pacific Group


Mr. Lewis G. Brown (Liberia) (designate) – African Group
Ms. Cristina Popescu (Romania) (designate) – Eastern-European Group
Ms. Nicola Barker-Murphy (Jamaica) (designate) – Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Ms. Eleonora van Munster (Netherlands) – Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Agenda Items

  1. Election of officers
  2. Adoption of the agenda and other organisational matters
  3. General debate
  4. Program implementation and future program of work of the Secretariat in the field of population
  5. Provisional agenda for the fifty-first session of the Commission
  6. Adoption of the report of the Commission on its fiftieth session


The 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will take place between March 13th and March 24th 2017.

Priority theme: Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.

Review theme: Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls, from the 58th session of the CSW.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. A functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), it was established on 21 June 1946.


​​​​​​​​​​34th session of the Human Rights Council

The 34th regular session of the Human Rights Council will take place between 27th February and 24th March 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations. It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.

The Council is made up of 47 United Nations Member States which are elected by the UN General Assembly. The Human Rights Council replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Call for submissions: Intentional destruction of cultural heritage as a violation of human rights

The United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Ms. Karima Bennoune, is inviting all relevant stakeholders to contribute to a consultation on the intentional destruction of cultural heritage as a violation of human rights, in particular cultural rights.

In her first report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/31/59) and building on the report of devoted to the right to enjoy and access cultural heritage (A/HRC/17/38), the Special Rapporteur presented her initial observations about the intentional destruction of cultural heritage and indicated her intention to study this issue more in depth for her upcoming report to the General Assembly. This decision was welcomed by a cross-regional statement made to the Council in March 2016 by an unprecedented coalition of 145 States. The statement condemned intentional destruction of cultural heritage and called for identification of best practices for its prevention, and for “raising awareness on the mutually reinforcing relation between the protection of cultural heritage and human rights and on the risks faced by defenders of cultural heritage.”

The consultation aims to assess the intentional destruction of cultural heritage as a violation of human rights and its impact on the exercise of the rights to enjoy and access cultural heritage, to access, contribute to and enjoy the arts and to participate in cultural life. To this purpose, all States, United Nations agencies, academics and civil society organizations are invited to send their contributions.

Contributions would particularly be appreciated on the following issues:

  • What is the impact of the intentional destruction of cultural heritage on the enjoyment of human rights, and particularly, on cultural rights? What is the impact of destruction of tangible cultural heritage on intangible cultural heritage, on cultural practices and beliefs, and on the right of concerned persons to participate in cultural life?
  • What are examples of different situations illustrating the above (situations of armed / non armed conflict or international / internal conflict; destructions by States / Non-States actors; geographical or other diversity, etc.)?
  • What are examples of good practices, especially with regard to prevention and protection against destruction, as well as repatriation and reconstruction measures of cultural heritage, including through human and cultural rights education and awareness?
  • What strategies are in place to protect cultural heritage defenders at risk? Under which circumstances can they be considered as cultural rights defenders?

Please send submissions electronically no later than 10 June 2016 to srculturalrights@ohchr.org, using the email title: “Submission to study on intentional destruction of cultural heritage”. Kindly limit your responses to 2,500 words and attach annexes where necessary. Please also indicate if you have any objections with regard to your reply being posted on the OHCHR website.

Questions or requirement for clarifications concerning this request can be address to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (srculturalrights@ohchr.org).

Annual Meeting of UN Special Procedures: Exchange with Civil Society

Exchange with Civil Society Actors

Wednesday, 8 June 2016, 15.00 to 18.00


Civil society organisations are kindly requested to confirm their participation by e-mail to Ann Seth (aseth@ohchr.org, tel. +41 22 917 9987) and Maria Carmen Marin (mmarin@ohchr.org, tel. +41 22 917 9424) by 27 May 2016.


They are also invited to submit any information or points for consideration by the Special Procedures by 30 May 2016, which will serve to inform the discussions.
More about Special Procedures: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/Welcomepage.aspx

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71st session of the UN General Assembly

The 71st Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 71) will convene at UN Headquarters on Tuesday, 13 September 2016.

The General Debate will open on Tuesday, 20 September 2016.