Press Releases

    SG/A/846
    HR/4679
    20 June 2003

    SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS FIVE EMINENT PERSONS
    TO FOLLOW UP ON WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM

    (Delayed for technical reasons.)

     

    GENEVA, 16 June (UN Information Service) -- The Secretary-General appointed today five independent eminent experts to follow up, together with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the implementation of the Declaration and Programme of Action of the 2001 World Conference against Racism.

    The experts are:

    -- Martti Oiva Kalevi Ahtisaari, former President of Finland;

    -- His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan;

    -- Edna Maria Santos Roland of Brazil, who served as Rapporteur-General of the World Conference against Racism;

    -- Salim Ahmed Salim of the United Republic of Tanzania, former President of the United Nations General Assembly and of the Organization of African Unity; and,

    -- Hanna Suchocka, former Prime Minister of Poland.

    The experts have a wealth of experience and a commitment to anti-discrimination and equality issues, as well as an international profile that will contribute to the implementation of the Declaration and Programme of Action.  Paragraph 191(b) of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action calls for the appointment of the experts.

    When they meet for the first time later this year in Geneva, the group will discuss with the High Commissioner for Human Rights how best to carry out their mandate.  The five are scheduled to meet for up to a week each year.

    Biographical Information

     

    Mr. Ahtisaari is currently the Co-Chairman of the East West Institute and Chairman of the International Crisis Group.  From March 1994 to the end of February 2000, he was the President of the Republic of Finland.  He joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1965 and held various posts, including in the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Somalia and Mozambique.  He has also served in various positions at the United Nations in relation to the former Yugoslavia and Namibia, and he was United Nations Under-Secretary General for Administration and Management from 1987 to 1991.  He was a member of the Eminent Persons Group established by the previous High Commissioner for Human Rights in preparation for the World Conference against Racism.  Mr. Ahtisaari was born in 1937.

    Prince El Hassan graduated with a degree in Oriental Studies.  He is the founding member and Vice-Chairman of the Foundation for Inter-religious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue (Geneva), a member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Inter-Religious Advisory Committee, a member of the Informal Advisory Group to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and President of the Club of Rome.  He attended the regional intergovernmental meeting for Asia in preparation for the World Conference against Racism (Tehran, February 2001) and was also a member of the Eminent Persons Group established by the previous High Commissioner for Human Rights.  Prince El Hassan was born in 1947.

    Ms. Santos Roland is a psychologist.  She is the President of the Board of Directors of the Fala Preta Organization of Black Women in Brazil.  She has published extensively on the topics of the Brazilian black women’s movement, women’s health needs in underserved communities, and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.  She served as the Rapporteur-General of the World Conference against Racism and was a member of the Brazilian delegation to the Conference.  She was also one of the experts at the regional expert seminar for Latin America and the Caribbean (Santiago, October 2000) organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in preparation for the World Conference.  Ms. Santos Roland was born in 1951.

    Mr. Salim served as Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity from 1989 to 2001.  He was the President of the United Nations General Assembly from 1979 to 1980 and was the Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania.  Mr. Salim was born in 1942.

    Ms. Suchocka holds a master's degree and a doctorate in law.  During the 1980s, she was a legal advisor for the “Solidarity” trade union.  Since the late 1980s, she has been a member of the Polish Parliament and has served in various official capacities including as a member of the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs, the Constitutional Committee of the National Assembly, the Venice Commission on Democracy through Law, as well as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Republic of Poland.  She was Poland’s first woman Prime Minister, serving in 1992 and 1993.  Ms. Suchocka was born in 1946.

    For further information, contact José Luis Diaz; e-mail:  jdiaz@ohchr.org, tel:  +41 22 917 9242, fax:  +41 22 917 9028) or Gloria Nwabuogu; e-mail:  gnwabuogu@ohchr.org, tel:  +41 22 917 9394, fax:  +41 22 917 9050, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Office at Geneva.

     

     

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