13 May 2012

Human Rights Council Appoints Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment

Sustainable Development Policy and Practice


The 19th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) concluded with the adoption of 41 texts on promoting and protecting human rights, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the right to development.  

The session convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 27 February - 23 March 2012. The adopted resolutions and decisions focused on, inter alia: issues relating to Special Rapporteurs on various human rights obligations; human rights and the environment; and human rights and terrorism.

On human rights and the environment, the HRC adopted a resolution appointing a Special Rapporteur, for a period of three years, on human rights obligations related to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, who would be required to, inter alia, make recommendations for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), take account of the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), and contribute to follow-up processes.

The HRC also reviewed urgent human rights situations through debates and presentations of reports on, among other things: the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Myanmar and Iran; technical assistance and capacity building in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Guinea and Yemen; technical assistance and capacity building in Haiti; the human rights situation in Palestine and other Occupied Arab Territories; the issue of economic, social and cultural rights of women; the right of the child.

 [OHCHR Press Release] [19th regular session of the HRC][Human Rights and Environment decision]

Former Cook Islands Prime Minister joins the ancestors

Radio New Zealand International 

At 71, Sir Geoffrey passes away at his home on Rarotonga

The Speaker of the Cook Islands Parliament, Sir Geoffrey Henry, has died.

Sir Geoffrey died at his home in Rarotonga surrounded by family members and close friends. He was 71.

Sir Geoffrey, a former prime minister, had been battling cancer and had been a patient at the Rarotonga Hospital until Saturday when he was discharged home.

Plans are being finalized for a state funeral for Sir Geoffrey, whose final resting place will be next to his home in Takuvaine.

Sir Geoffrey, who was born in Aitutaki in 1940 and is from a family of 16, married Louisa Hoff in 1965 and they had six children.

He entered the country’s political scene in 1965 at the age of 24 - the youngest member of the Cook Islands Legislative Assembly - as an independent member for Aitutaki, and was the leader of the Cook Islands Party from the early 1980s until his retirement from politics in 2006.

Sir Geoffrey served as the country’s prime minister for a brief period in 1983, and was again prime minister for a decade from 1989 to 1999.

He became a Knight Commander of the British Empire in 1992, and in February last year became the Speaker of Parliament.