November 14th, 2020
Dr Radhika Coomaraswamy has been appointed new chairperson of the South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) along with Dr Roshmi Goswami as the co-chairperson of the rights body.
Dr Radhika Coomaraswamy is a lawyer, academic, internationally recognised human rights advocate and former UN Special Representative, SAHR said in a statement. She was a Member of UN Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar and a member of the Secretary General’s Board of Advisors on Mediation-2017 and a member of the Constitutional Council, Sri Lanka (2015-2018).
In 2014, Dr Radhika Coomaraswamy led the global study to review the 15-year implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. She also held the position of the UN Under Secretary General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (2006 – 2012), Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka from (2003 – 2006), UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and an independent expert attached to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva from (1994 – 2003).
According to the SAHR statement, Dr Roshmi Goswami is a feminist and human rights activist known for her pioneering work on women in armed conflict situations. Dr Roshmi Goswami has founded and provided leadership to a couple of organisations on women’s rights in India and is associated with several international human rights and feminist organisations.
Dr Goswami was a Governing Board member of the US based Urgent Action Fund which supports women human rights defenders across the world, founder Board member of Urgent Action Fund-Asia Pacific, core group member of the South Asia feminist network – SANGAT, Board member of CESR, New York and Working Group member of the Asia Pacific Women’s Alliance on Peace and Security (APWAPS).
The appointments came about at the SAHR Bureau’s virtual meeting November 11, 2020. The human rights organisation also announced its new Bureau members across South Asia. Munizae Jahangir and Ahmad Rafay Alam have been appointed from Pakistan.
Muktasree Chakma Sathi will represent the bureau from Bangladesh. The bureau will have Amitabh Behar in India, Fareesha Abdulla in the Maldives, Dr Renu Adhikari Rajbhandari and Sushil Pyakurel in Nepal, and Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu and Dilrukshi Handunnetti in Sri Lanka. The SAHR statement praised and thanked Sultana Kamal, the outgoing chairperson, and Mohamed Latheef, outgoing co-chairperson, for their leadership and commitment to the organization during their tenure.