“Political stability must be achieved to overcome the ‘refugee crisis’” – stated H. E. Dr. Hanif Al Qassim

In early January, during an interview with Gulf News in Dubai, H. E. Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, Chairman of the Geneva Centre’s Board of Management, stated that political stability must be achieved to overcome the ‘refugee crisis’, as the primary cause of recent refugee flows is States’ vulnerability.

Geneva Centre participates in the Annual Conference of the White Ribbon Campaign Switzerland

On 8th December 2015, the White Ribbon Campaign Switzerland (Ruban Blanc – Campagne Suisse) on raising awareness on violence against women held its Annual Conference on the theme “Creating an idea whose time has come  – the elimination of violence against women and girls” (“Créer une idée dont le temps est venu – l’élimination de la violence à l’égard des femmes”). The Geneva Centre, represented by Mr. Ricardo Espinosa, Executive Director a.i. and Swiss White Ribbon Ambassador, was invited to join the conference and contribute to the discussion.

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders: 22nd Award ceremony

On 6th October, the 22nd Martin Ennals Award ceremony took place at the University of Geneva, in the framework of the Human Rights Week.

The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders was created in 1993, in order to encourage human rights defenders who are at risk and therefore in need of immediate protection. The goal was and is, still today, to provide special protection to human rights defenders by drawing international media attention on their plight.

Vacancy: Executive Director

The Geneva Centre is seeking to employ an experienced and dynamic professional for the Executive Director position, reporting directly to the Board of Management.  The Executive Director (ED), who is appointed for a three-year term, is responsible for achieving the Centre’ mission and strategic plan.

Geneva Centre welcomes students from Boston University in view of promoting dialogue among civilizations

On June 15th, the Geneva Centre received 13 International Relations students from Boston University, in the framework of a Geneva-based summer school in Conflicts Resolution. The meeting aimed to brief the students about opportunities and challenges for dialogue among civilizations, as well as to present the work of the Geneva Centre in this area.

Gross Human Rights violations perpetrated by Boko Haram

As details start to emerge of a fresh set of attacks perpetrated by terrorist group Boko Haram, the situation in Nigeria seems to be deteriorating. Hundreds of people have been found murdered in North-Eastern Nigeria on Monday. The violence seems to have spread beyond Nigeria’s borders; Chad, Niger and Cameroon have all been under attack from Boko Haram, where heinous attacks have been committed injuring and killing hundreds.

The Geneva Centre calls for strengthening of International Cooperation to solve migration challenges

In view of the instabilities that plague Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, it is feared that on Sunday 19th April, at least 700 migrants have died while attempting to cross the Mediterranean. According to UNHCR, in 2015 alone, 1600 migrants have died attempting fate in search for greener pastures. The majority of migrants head for the Italian coast, escaping the horrors of the war in Libya.

Geneva Centre endorses the World Day of Social Justice as a means to promote peace and security

In the context of the commemoration of the World Day of Social Justice on 20th February 2015, as declared by General Assembly Resolution A/RES/62/10 on 26th November 2007, the Geneva Centre acknowledges that “(…) social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations (…)”. 

The Geneva Centre supports The Muslim Council of Britain’s “Visit my mosque” day initiative

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, where 17 people were brutally murdered, Muslim communities have rallied up to prove that the nefarious acts of the individuals behind the Paris attacks do not represent Islam. On Sunday, 1st February, The Muslim Council of Britain united in an effort to appease ill thought by organizing the initiative “Visit my mosque day”.

Geneva Centre to collaborate with Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development

Earlier this week, the Geneva Centre met with H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremić, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, former President of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, as well as current President of the Centre for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD).

The Geneva Centre supports Merkel in condemning anti-Islam Pegida Movement

Since October 2014, the newly-created Pegida (“Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West”) has been organizing weekly public demonstrations against the presumed Islamization of Europe, the most recent one gathering 18.000 rioters last Monday. The movement, founded in Dresden by activist Lutz Bachmann, claims not to be racist or xenophobic, and to oppose extremism; yet, it incites to prejudices, intolerance, and Islamophobia in fact, and its slogan “for the preservation of our culture” recalls nothing other than the legacy of a remote, dangerous past appealing for the “preservation of the Aryan race”.

The Geneva Centre calls for concerted efforts to combat worldwide terrorism

On 16th December, militants from the Pakistani Taliban attacked an army-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing 141 people, 132 children amongst them. This brutal attack is not an isolated case, and represents the peak of a long series of terrorist attacks whose ferocity cannot be neglected. It occurred one day after the strike taken place in Sydney Lindt Cafè, Australia, and less than two weeks after “Al Reem Ghost” attack, which took place in Al Reem Mall in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The Geneva Centre welcomes Saudi Arabia’s donation to World Food Programme

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Born in 1961, it pursues a vision of the world in which “every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life”, and reaches, on average, more than 80 million people with food assistance in 75 countries each year.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon meets with world leaders: towards a more transparent and inclusive global governance

On the margins of the G20 Summit in Brisbane, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has met with senior European officials and Turkey’s Prime Minister in order to discuss pressing issues, such as the ongoing Ukraine crisis, the Ebola outbreak, the threat represented by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and climate change. The Geneva Centre very much welcomes UN Secretary-General’s efforts to engage in dialogue with the Group of 20 in view of a more transparent and efficient global economic governance.

Challenges to Security and Human Rights in the Arab Region

The Geneva Centre is pleased to report on the international Conference on “Challenges to Security and Human Rights in the Arab Region”, which was held in Doha (Qatar) on 5th and 6th November 2014. The event was co-organized by the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar, the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions.

“Muslims and Islam are not interchangeable terms with terrorists or ISIS.” – stated the Asian American Journalism Association

In recent years, notably since 11th September 2001, there has been a systematic demonization of Islam and, as a consequence, a deliberate rejection to engage in dialogue with its believers. This phenomenon has been intensifying following the creation of an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and extending to Syria, which has been hitting in the summer and autumn headlines.

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