23 March 2017 (GENEVA) - From 20th to 23rd March 2017, the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue welcomed 13 young Arab professionals from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for an advanced training programme on human rights mechanisms. The programme, entitled “Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: Legal Experts’ Engagement with UN Human Rights Mechanisms and Specialized Agencies”, took place within the framework of the Centre’s long-term partnership with the Emirates Association of Lawyers and Legal Experts, and followed three other training programmes targeting a similar audience.

The participants (7 women and 6 men) were provided with an overview of the Human Rights Council Mechanisms as well as of ways to actively engage with these, with a special focus on the UPR.

The lectures and workshops, delivered respectively by Ambassador Idriss Jazairy (Executive Director of the Geneva Centre), Dr. Ahmed Aoued (Expert in International Law at the UAE Permanent Mission), Mr. Nazar Abdelgadir (Executive Director of the Geneva Institute for Human Rights), Prof. Osman El Hajjé (Professor at Jinan University and Independent Human Rights Expert), Mr. Aziel Goulandris (Education Officer at the World Federation of United Nations Associations), Mrs. Alexandra Kerinvel-Spanu (Consultant in International Law and Development), and Dr. Pierre Sob (President at Africa 21), included the following topics: 1) Human Rights Council: Structure and Functioning; 2) Treaty Bodies: The Reporting Mechanism; 3) Human Rights Council Special Procedures: Effectiveness Enhancement; 4) Human Rights Council: Drafting Resolutions; 5) Human Rights Council’s Mechanisms: The UPR; 6) Before the UPR: Drafting the National Report; 7) During the UPR: Defending the National Report and Answering Questions; 8) After the UPR: Follow-Up to Recommendations; 9) Social Partners’ Engagement with ILO; and 10) Civil Society’s Engagement with OHCHR.

Thanks to this intensive training session, which was held in both Arabic and English by means of simultaneous interpretation, the participants had the chance to deepen their knowledge about the UN Human Rights Mechanisms, mainly the Human Rights Council and the UPR, and learnt ways to draft HRC resolutions as well as national reports for the UPR.

The students were also provided with a unique opportunity to visit the United Nations and attend the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, in order to keep abreast of latest developments in the field of human rights, as well as to experience the concrete functioning of one of the UN Human Rights Mechanisms.

The participants expressed overall appreciation for the organization of this training programme and underscored the importance of this kind of sessions of the development of their future career.

The training programme was concluded by an award ceremony in which the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre, Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, thanked the trainees for their active participation and re-iterated the Geneva Centre’s readiness to continue hosting similar training programmes for civil society organisations in the Arab region.

For more detailed information about the agenda of the training programme, please download the official programme (click here to download).

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