The 2018 Social Forum of the United Nations Human Rights Council kicked off today at the United Nations in Geneva, with Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez as the Chairperson-Rapporteur, alongside High Commissioner for Human Rights Madam Michelle Bachelet and Council President Vogislav Suc. This three day Forum will address the possibilities of further promoting human rights for all and to strengthen universal respect for them, through a thematic focus.
Opening the 2018 Social Forum of UN Human Rights Council on 01 October Ambassador Azeez said ‘this Forum has served as an inclusive platform for multi-stakeholders and has enabled a deep reflection, among participants, on important themes that could bring out diverse aspects of intersectionality between Human Rights and the society’.
Addressing the Social Forum, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative further stated that at a time when every recognized norm and value on which the UN, international order, and multilateralism stand, was being put to test in today’s globalized and yet volatile world, the importance of Social Forum, stands enhanced as a bridge-builder and as an enabler of an exchange of diverse perspectives aimed to strengthen and elaborate such norms and values.
Addressing the Forum, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet emphasized the importance of sports as a tool for social and human empowerment. President of the Council Ambassador Vogislav Suc also addressed the opening session.
This year’s Social Forum consists of 9 thematic sessions followed by interactive dialogue in each session covering wider range of themes such as Sports, Human Solidarity and Universal Values for All Humanity; Sports and the “Equal Rights of Men and Women”; Inclusivity, Equality and Non-Discrimination in Sport; Sports, Sustainable Cities and the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living; Sports for Sustainable Development and Sustained Peace; Youth, Children and Future Generations etc. and side events.
A documentary produced by Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation on how sports and sports-persons help create an impact on society in our journey to peace and reconciliation was screened.
The Forum will end with a musical presentation by the UN Music Team titled a World Premiere “Racing for Peace” which symbolises Sri Lankans’ desire and commitment for lasting peace and advancement of human rights.