Natural Justice Attends Side Event During UN GA on the Role, Protection and Effective Participation of Human Rights Defenders in Development

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On 29 October 2013, Eli Makagon attended a side-event held by the International Service for Human Rights at United Nations headquarters in New York. The side-event, held during the UN’s ongoing 68th General Assembly meeting, was entitled The Role, Protection and Effective Participation of Human Rights Defenders in Development, and brought together panelists, including Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and Pavel Sulyandziga, Chair of the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, to discuss the issues. The panelists noted that very often, human rights defenders are people from Indigenous and local communities who are facing threats from large scale development. Among other things, Mr. Sulyandziga noted that international financial institutions such as the World Bank Group are an important factor in ensuring that the rights of Indigenous peoples are respected, as many of the major corporations involved in development are attempting to obtain loans from those institutions. Ms. Sekaggya reported that there were some positive developments, such as Australia’s mining assessment initiatives and Columbia’s national hydrocarbon agency assessment, as well as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (link).

1 November 2013

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