The Geneva Centre being an independent think tank - working towards the promotion and the advancement of a value-driven human rights system, pursues the activities reported in this newsletter, drawing inspiration from the valuable contribution of ideas identified in its panel meetings. These are held several times a year on issues related to human rights law and humanitarian law. The focus of the Centre’s activities is related to the advancement of human rights in the Arab region.
The present issue of the newsletter includes the outcome of research engaged by the Centre on Arab and Islamic reflections on concepts and practice related to human rights and to humanitarian law. In this current edition, the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre Ambassador Idriss Jazairy comments on the spiritual heritage of the founder of modern Algeria, Emir Abd el Qader el Jazairy, whose contributions to human rights and humanitarian law have not been given adequate recognition in modern history.
This newsletter is also an opportunity to report on the activities of the Geneva Centre which were given shining recognition by ECOSOC through its decision to confer upon the Centre its Special Consultative Status on 26 July 2017. In March of this year, the Geneva Centre organized a conference entitled “Islam and Christianity, the Great Convergence: Working Jointly Towards Equal Citizenship Rights.” The present newsletter includes the outcome of the deliberations of this significant event. The Centre also held numerous major activities to promote and advance human rights through crosscultural, political, religious and civilizations dialogue which are referred to briefly in this newsletter. The newsletter also refers to other development which have occurred during the year including the Messages that the Geneva Centre's Chairman H.E. Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim sent on the occasion of the United Nations International Commemorative Days.
The Geneva Centre has also invited independent guest writers to contribute in the field of human rights and international humanitarian law. They have written three articles addressing issues related to human rights and humanitarian law. These contributions were written by:
- Dr. Mohammed A’shoor, Professor at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi: “Protection of Civilians during Armed Conflicts”
- Dr. Ahmed Al-Dawoody, Legal Adviser (Islamic Law and Jurisprudence) at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Assistant Professor at the Al-Azhar University (Cairo, Egypt): “Rights of Civilians and Non-combatants in Time of War according to the Shari’a”
- Dr. Alsayed Ali Abu Farha, College of Politics and Economics, Beni Sweif University: “Protection of Civilians in Yemen and Syria: Humanitarian Efforts in Grey Contexts”
Finally, the present version of the Geneva Centre’s newsletter contains an overview of innovative books addressing issues related to human rights and humanitarian law.