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Letter to the High Commissioner for Human Rights

18 September 2009

To:
The Honorable
Ms Navanethem Pillay
High Commissioner for Human Rights

Geneva, 18 September 2009

Your Excellency,

I write this letter to convey to you our sincere gratitude for the opportunity of meeting with you at your office last week, at which time we discussed the situation in Darfur and also other common concerns. We are grateful for your candor and willingness to listen to the concerns we bring from the fellowship of churches that make up the World Council of Churches (WCC). We are heartened by your expression of appreciation of our statements on the situation in the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) and also by your commitment to listen and respond positively to our suggestions.

The concerns you expressed during our discussions included that fundamental reforms to both the security sector and judicial systems in the DRC are important in order to ensure a lasting peace to troubled areas in the country. We urge you to use your leadership and moral authority to ensure that the United Nation’s Human Rights mechanisms and instruments are integral in protecting and promoting human rights, especially in the DRC.

You have set an extremely important example by your own strong personal and professional commitment to encourage and recognise the greater participation of people who are working for human rights. In this regard, the colleagues who accompanied me and I were appreciative of your positive comments about the churches’ involvement in the area of human rights. We were very much encouraged by your suggestion that we need to ensure meetings of respective staff of both organisations from time to time, in order to strengthen our common concerns on various situations through mutual sharing of experiences.

You might recall I mentioned to you during our conversation that the recently concluded meeting of the WCC Central Committee issued a statement on the misuse of the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan. I am enclosing a copy of the same for your information.

My colleagues and I look forward to our continuing conversations and collaborations with your team of experts in the future.

Sincerely, 

Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia
General Secretary