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August 4-29, 1997 Palais de Nations, Geneva

The participation of Franciscans International and Dominicans at the session consisted not only in delivering statements but also in related activities to advance the issues which were raised during the session.

Public statements:

Franciscans International and Dominicans made public statements on the following issues:

  • Agenda item 2: Question of human rights violations in all countries - Mexico and Pakistan;
  • Agenda item 4: The right to development
  • Agenda item 7: Human rights of indigenous peoples - the State of Chiapas, Mexico
  • Agenda item 9: The issue of impunity - Columbia, Burundi and Rwanda.
  • Agenda item 11: The ban on anti-personnel land mines.

Thematic issues:

In terms of the thematic issues, we worked assiduously to ensure that the Sub-Commission reaffirm its total ban on the production, sale, transfer, stockpiling and use of anti personnel land mines. We worked closely with Mr. Stuart Maslen (Legal Adviser, Mines Unit at the International Committee of the Red Cross) and proposed different amendments to the text introduced by Mr. Weissbrodt (expert from the United States). Our suggestions included the addition of some operative paragraphs highlighting the role of the civil society (Oslo Conference and Ottawa process for instance) which were finally accepted by Sub-Commission members. The resolution on land mines was adopted without a vote. The following members expressed reservations on the question: Mr. Fan (expert from China), Mr. Alfonso Martinez (expert from Cuba) and Mr. Chernichenko (expert from the Russian Federation). Franciscans International and Dominicans  were the only NGOs to deliver a statement on the effects of land mine and to succeed in achieving a strong resolution on the issue.

Other activities included:

  • Preparation of the resolution on anti-personnel land-mines: draft of the text, consultation with ICRC and UNICEF experts, lobbying Sub-Commission members;
  • Promoting activity on Mexico: meeting with various Mexican human rights defenders, participation in the drafting of a comprehensive NGO statement, signature and dissemination of the text;
  • Promoting activity on Pakistan: several contacts with the Pakistani mission (Mr. , M. Akram Sheikh head of the delegation and Mrs. T. Janjua, first secretary at the Permanent Mission in Geneva) concerning the Khanewal and Shantinagar incidents;
  • Promoting activity on Colombia: meetings and consultation with different international NGOs.

Oral, Written or Summary: 
Meeting Year: 


The 49th session of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities
Meeting Name: 
The 49th session of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities