Women’s rights and gender equality have been at the heart of the international agenda over the past few years. This intensification of the movement for women’s rights has been driven, in part, by the anniversaries of some of the core international instruments on gender. As such, 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the road map for gender equality for the past two decades. The year 2015 also marked the 15th Anniversary and the Global Review of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the main UN resolution dealing with women’s participation in peace and security and their protection from violence during conflict. These processes coincided with the elaboration of the new global development agenda and Sustainable Developments Goals, placing gender equality at the core of concerns for the next 15 years, through SDG 5.
Emerged from the activities of labor movements at the turn of the 20th century, International Women’s Day is marked around the world on the 8th of March as a day of celebration of women, their rights, and the achievements on the road towards gender equality. This day is also, most importantly, an occasion to continue to show firm support for, and reaffirm the need for, the promotion and protection of women’s rights, and their full participation in the political and economic arenas worldwide.
In order to mark the 2015 Human Rights Day and International Migrants Day, the Geneva Centre, in collaboration with Union des Nations pour l’Enseignement, la Science Universelle et les Droits de l’Homme, hosted a panel discussion on the migrant crisis currently affecting the Mediterranean region and the European continent more generally. The panel discussion, entitled The Current Migrant Crisis: an Aftermath of the Arab Spring?, took place on 11th December 2015, from 10:00 to 13:00, at Palais des Nations.
On 20th November 2015, within the context of the Geneva Peace Week, the Freedom of Religion International Center (FRICE) and Association Miraisme International organized a Forum on Religion and Peacebuilding. The Geneva Centre, represented by Mr. Ricardo Espinosa, Executive Director a. i., was invited to join the discussion. Among the other panellists were: Mr. Enrique Montes, President of Association Miraisme International; Prof. Kevin Clements, Chair and Director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago; Mr. Carlos A. Baena, Former Senator in Colombia and founder of FRICE); Prof. Khinder Domle, Media Director of University of Duhok; Dr. Paolo Lorenzo Gamba, Former Counsellor EU Commission on faith-based organizations; and Dr. Michael Mutzner, Permanent Representative of the World Evangelical Alliance.
During the past few weeks, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks took place in Sinai, Beirut, and Paris. The so-called “Islamic State” has claimed responsibility over such atrocious and barbarian acts, and has threatened further action.
On 9th October, the 2015 ceremony of the Dies Academicus took place at the University of Geneva, before political and academic authorities.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations and the International Day of Peace, the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue hosted a peace concert entitled “Pianists for Peace”, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations Office and other international organizations as well as with the UNESCO Liaison Office in Geneva.
Geneva Centre calls upon the international community to provide concerted responses to migration issues
The heartbreaking images of a Turkish gendarme cradling in his arms the lifeless body of a three-year old boy on a beach near a resort of Bodrum, on September 2nd, spread all around the world, arousing the concern of the international community. The young boy, whose brother and mother encountered the same bitter fate, was a Syrian migrant trying to escape, with his family, the imposed totalitarianism of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State”. According to Turkish officials, 12 people died after two boats carrying a total of 23 people, of whom he was part, capsized after setting off from the Akyarlar area of the Bodrum peninsula.
On June 30th, at the side-lines of the 29th regular session of the Human Rights Council, the Geneva Centre hosted a panel discussion entitled Children in Armed Conflict: The MENA as a Case Study.
5th Meeting of the Istanbul Process, in Jeddah: Another step towards a full and effective implementation of HRC Resolution 16/18
In July 2011, representatives of the international community gathered in Istanbul and initiated an intense process to expedite full and effective implementation of Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 (2001), entitled Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief. It was the beginning of the so-called “Istanbul Process”.