CFI Prepares for 31st Session of UN Human Rights Council

March 4, 2016

The Center for Inquiry’s main representative to the United Nations, Michael De Dora, will return to Geneva, Switzerland next week to represent the organization at the 31st regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, being held February 29 through March 24.

De Dora’s efforts will include attending meetings with leading human rights activists, directly lobbying officials from Council member states, and delivering several oral statements to the full Council. 

In addition, CFI and the International Humanist and Ethical Union will hold a side event on secularism and human rights on March 8. This event will focus on developing an understanding of secularism, considering whether and in what form secularism is compatible or necessary for the realization of human rights, and whether this is an issue which the HRC should address. 

Speakers will include:

  • Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief
  • Michael de Dora, Main Representative to the UN, Center for Inquiry; President of the UN NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief (New York)
  • Leo Igwe, Nigerian human rights activist
  • Ani Zonneveld, founder and president of Muslims for Progressive Values
  • Elizabeth O’Casey, Director of Advocacy, International Humanist and Ethical Union; Vice Chair of the UN NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief (Geneva)

You can read more about this event here.

In addition to organizing this side event, CFI is also co-sponsoring an event organized by Article 19 and the International Federation for Human Rights on implementation of the UN’s resolution on combating religious intolerance. You can read more about this event here.

You can keep track of our work at the HRC by following the Center for Inquiry and Michael De Dora on Twitter.

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at