Sep 26, 2006

UNPO Gathers Experts in The Hague

International Symposium in The Hague organised by UNPO and partners on the question of human rights and self-determination in international law held from 29 September until 01 October 2006.

The past week has seen discussions at the UN General Assembly in New York and UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on the integral link between the prevailing security climate and questions relating to human rights, intra-state stability, and self-determination.



The prevalence of this inter-relationship, and the magnitude of its related issues, emphasises the importance of building on these discussions by continuing them also beyond the halls and corridors of the General Assembly and Human Rights Council. From 29 September until 01 October 2006, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), in collaboration with the Khmers-Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) and the Hawai’i Institute for Human Rights (HIHR), will hold an international Symposium on “The Right to Self-Determination and International Law,” in The Hague, the Netherlands.


UN Special Rapporteur Prof. Rodolfo Stavenhagen has made this Symposium his first port of call after his report to the UN Human Rights Council (photo left), and he will be joined by H.E. Judge Abdul G. Koroma of the International Court of Justice; Mr. Johan Mikkel Sara, Vice-President of the Norwegian Sami Parliament; Mr. Aqqaluk Lynge, President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council and Member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; as well as other leading figures in the field, to discuss the key issue of Self-Determination in International Law. Leading Khmer Krom representatives will also be in attendance, providing a compelling illustration of the effects felt by those whose fundamental right to self-determination is denied.


The Symposium will bring together experts and participants from around the world, all aiming to apply their knowledge and expertise to conceptualising the notion of self determination; charting its relationship to the pursuit and realisation of human rights and conflict resolution; and detailing the legal instruments available to those in peaceful pursuit of their right to self-determination.


Procession & Vigil

A Symposium of this nature will always be conducted in the shadow of those whose fundamental rights fail even to ensure them the opportunity of attending. To commemorate the dedication and personal-sacrifice of these individuals, there will, on Saturday 30 September, be a colourful procession of flags from The Hague City Hall to the Peace Palace, where a candle light vigil will take place.



Attention will also be further focused on the human face and urgency of these questions by the Premier Screening of “Eliminated Without Bleeding”, a film by celebrated Filmmaker Ms. Rebecca Sommer about the plight of the Khmer Krom people of the Mekong River Delta region of Southern Vietnam,. Ms. Sommer will herself be present at the Premier on Sunday 01 October to discuss the film, as well as her personal experience with one of the most pressing issues before the international community today.


To enquire/register for participation please contact UNPO at: (Subject Line: Request for Symposium Programme & Registration Form)