Friday, April 16, 2010

UNPO General Secretary Meets With UN Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco

Source: UNPO

At a meeting of NGOs in Brussels convened by No Peace Without Justice General Secretary Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, UNPO Secretary General Marino Busdachin asked UN Assistant Secretary General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco about refoulement of refugees, self-determination, and the involvement of civil society with the UN.

Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for the United Nations Office of Political Affairs, assisted by the head of the UN Mission to the EU Antonio Vigilante, met with NGOs on 15 April 2010 at the offices of No Peace Without Justice. The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization was present, alongside representatives from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group, the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, the European Partnership for Democracy, the Nonviolent Radical Transnational Party, Reporters Sans Frontiers, and No Peace Without Justice. The discussion focused around a perceived disconnect between the UN and NGOs, and the frustration of civil society organisations trying to appear in front of the UN.

UNPO Secretary General Marino Busdachin spoke about the importance of UN involvement with issues of non-refoulement, stating the importance of expediency when dealing with the return of refugees to potentially dangerous countries. “It is extremely important for Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to be more vocal in cases of imminent refoulement. Recent situations involving the Uyghurs in China and the Hmong in Thailand could have been settled with a more expedient reaction from the UN,” Busdachin said. He also stressed the key role of civil society organisations, and expressed hope for a stronger working relationship between the UN and UNPO on issues of self-determination and sovereignty.

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