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report on the ngo committee on human rights

Reported by Fran Butensky, ICJW Representative

 At least three times a year, Ivan Simonovic, the Assistant Secretary General (ASG) for Human Rights at the UN in New York meets with the committee to brief us on pertinent issues involving human rights worldwide. At this meeting, he discussed several major concerns:

 60 million displaced persons with a rate of return of the displaced is the slowest in decades.

 All the social indicators of human development are trending downward.

 For the first time in history, the top one per percent of the world population has more money 
and property than the remaining 99 percent. .

 This inequality issue both between nations and within nations will loom larger than other trends that include shrinkage of democratic space around the globe.

 On the issue of climate change, he noted that it does not impact everyone equally. Conflicts arise over water rights, migration, and land grabbing. Often, the worst impact falls on the most vulnerable.

 The current adult population may not notice too many changes during our lifetime. “But we must be aware of intergenerational solidarity. What world are we leaving to the next generation?”

 The number one issue facing refugees on displacement was that their children have lost too many years of education due to conflicts in their homelands.

 Education is the only the way to enable assimilation and prevent the worst forms of xenophobia to happen. In order to achieve this, we need to educate the educators. We must look to the younger generation.