GENEVA, February 23, 2016 — Lord David Trimble, a key broker in the Good Friday agreement which brought to a close decades of bloody sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, and for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998, today addressed a room of human rights victims, dissidents and activists as well as hundreds of members of the public, at our 8th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.

Lord Trimble spoke about the United Nations (and its Human Rights Council in particular) on the 10th anniversary of the Council and what would be the 70th anniversary of the now-defunct Commission on Human Rights. Below are some highlights from his speech, during which he spoke at length on the failure of the Human Rights Council to adequately replace its morally bankrupt predecessor:

“We are dealing with a Council of Human Rights abusers”

“In order to protect their countries, they [authoritarian regimes] take over the organization that is there to criticize them. And this I think is done quite deliberately and quite cynically.”

“We’ve got this Council which ought to be effective, which has in fact become a mutual praise society.”

“The Council has a panel of experts, many of whom do good work, but it also has many people who ought not to be there.”

“All of the criticisms that Kofi Annan made in 2005 are still valid today.”

“The Council acted in 2006 when they realized that the standards were being manipulated and lowered. They must surely realize that it’s happening again.”

Information and multimedia on the 2016 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy



Twitter | Hashtag: #GS16


Photos (high resolution)

Facebook Photos (quick uploads)

Blog Post Summaries of the Speeches

Webcast: Live on Feb. 23rd from 9:15 am to 5:30 pm CET at

Videos (to be posted after the panels)

Media Coverage of the Geneva Summit