Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Screening of the short documentary “Theo van Boven: A Tribute”

On Thursday April 3, the Netherlands Mission, in close cooperation with the Mission of Argentina and Human Rights Watch, is organizing a screening of the short documentary “Theo van Boven: A Tribute”. The documentary focusses on Professor van Boven’s time as director of the UN Division of Human Rights.

Theo van Boven (born in the Netherlands in 1935) served as Director of the UN Division of Human Rights

(today the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR) from 1977 to 1982.

He argued consistently that concern for human rights should not be a marginal activity within the UN system,

but should become the core element of development strategies on all levels.

He sought to break through the selective approach of the UN in human rights matters, and to deal more consistently

with the gross violations of human rights in a large number of countries on all continents, including enforced disappearances,

torture, summary and arbitrary execution, and discrimination against indigenous peoples.


The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on the importance of even handedness and integrity in the promotion

and protection of human rights by the UN and civil society. Mr. Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights,

Dr. Martin Gras, Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Plan of the Human Rights Secretariat of Argentina

and Mr. Reed Brody, council and spokesperson for Human Rights Watch have agreed to participate in this panel.


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