Goodbye to an Old Friend
On August 21, the Civil Society community met for the last time with Navi Pillay, the outgoing UN High Commissioner on Human Rights—in fact, she had asked for this session and skipped out of a meeting in the Security Council to meet with us! She was pleased to report that the Security Council was going to make a resolution on cooperation with Civil Society–one of her goals always was to convince the UN to listen more to the grassroots. Navi is a dynamic, compassionate woman from South Africa, a former judge. Before becoming High Commissioner six years ago, she worked for an NGO. She is well known for her excellent human rights work on unpopular causes, like the rights of homosexuals. Speaking about current migration issues, she said vehemently that it is not legitimate to detain children. Cases must be based on the interest of the child and not on border security. The questions from the audience showed the love that NGOs have had for Navi, and their fear that many of her brave initiatives will be discontinued once she leaves…we will be watching the new High Commissioner with great interest.