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UN human rights expert to offer advice on Stormont House Agreement

Published 09/11/2015

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Prime Minister David Cameron leaving Stormont House in Belfast. A UN human rights expert is to offer advice on implementing the Stormont House agreement
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Prime Minister David Cameron leaving Stormont House in Belfast. A UN human rights expert is to offer advice on implementing the Stormont House agreement

A UN human rights expert in societies emerging from conflict is to meet victims in Northern Ireland .

Colombian Pablo de Greiff will also hold talks with government officials and politicians during his 10-day visit to London and Northern Ireland.

The special rapporteur on the promotion of truth and justice intends to offer advice on implementing the Stormont House Agreement and will travel to Belfast and counties Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Londonderry.

Mr de Greiff said: "With the adoption of the Stormont House Agreement in 2014, important new opportunities were created to address the legacy issues of the Northern Ireland conflict."

His role includes advising on making reparations after conflict and creating guarantees that wrongdoing will not happen again.

He noted that the Agreement proposes the creation of new mechanisms dealing with investigations, truth-seeking, archiving and reconciliation.

The academic expert in transitional justice's mandate includes redressing the legacies of serious rights violations and assisting in providing recognition to victims, fostering trust and reconciliation, and strengthening the rule of law.

Meanwhile, a new website charting the development of an international collection of over 270 textile pieces which depict conflict situations around the world is to launch next week in Londonderry's Tower Museum.

Conflict Textiles began in an exhibition entitled The Art Of Survival: International And Irish Quilts, which was held at nine venues across Derry in early 2008.

This exhibition also featured Chilean arpilleras, three dimensional textiles from Latin America, which originated in Chile during General Augusto Pinochet's reign of oppression.

Since 2008, over 130 exhibitions, featuring arpilleras, quilts and wall hangings, and related events have been hosted in museums, universities, art galleries, embassies and community spaces worldwide.

Guest curator Roberta Bacic said: "Over the years the journey became much more than collecting beautiful or interesting textile pieces which told such incredible stories. Conversations and projects developed as a way to raise awareness, understanding and encourage participation.

"It has been empowering for those involved to meet quilt makers, arpilleristas and textile workers and artists from around the world. This journey has travelled beyond Ireland, sharing the universality of being a woman dealing with difficult situations such as conflict, poverty, political repression, or human rights violations."

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said it offered a fascinating insight into the development of the collection, which depicts the experiences and suffering of women affected by conflict across the world.

"It is particularly fitting that the collection will find a home at the Tower Museum given the city's own troubled history and our strong links to the textile industry."

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