In the face of escalating religious-based intolerance, the Geneva Centre would like to recall the importance of dialogue among different religious groups and the need for all parties to work in conjunction to protect all persons, independent of their religion or belief.
The horrific attack that took place at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris today, 7th January, led to the death of 12 people, including the magazine’s editor, Stéphane Charbonnier, and chief cartoonist, Jean Cabut. France raised its security alert to the highest level, and a manhunt is currently under way. “It is undoubtedly a terrorist attack of the most extreme barbarity. (…) We are threatened because we are a country that cherishes freedom.” – stated French President François Hollande.
Dr. Hanif Al-Qassim: “An agreement has been reached with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to convene an Inaugural International Forum on Combating Religious Intolerance”
The Geneva Centre and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights agreed on convening an inaugural forum on practical actions to combat religious intolerance. The conference, to be held in London in the end of April 2015, is intended to contribute to the practical implementation of Human Rights Council and General Assembly resolutions on Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons, based on religion or belief, as well as of other key human rights texts relevant to the issues of freedom of religion and belief, and freedom of opinion and expression.
Al-Azhar University (Jāmiʿat al-Azhar) is the chief centre of Islamic and Arabic learning in the world, as well as the oldest degree-granting university in Egypt. Centred on the Al-Azhar mosque, the University was founded in 970, and represents one of the relics of the Isma’ili Shi’a Fatimid dynasty era of Egypt. Together with the mosque, the university plays a fundamental role in promoting the Islamic and Arabic heritance, as well as in building a bridge between different cultures and religions.
On 20th November, the Geneva Centre achieved a remarkable milestone by signing a memorandum of understanding with the League of Arab States. By so doing, the Geneva Centre, represented on this occasion by its Executive Director Mr. Imad Zuhairi, and the League of Arab States, represented by the Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva, H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Kamlichi, paved the way for a long-lasting, comprehensive framework of cooperation.
Geneva Centre hosts retreat for Arab Ambassadors to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva
In collaboration with the Permanent Delegation of the League of Arab States and the current Presidency of the Council of Arab Ambassadors to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, the Geneva Centre hosted a retreat for Arab Ambassadors. The original and unique event, which took place from Saturday 8th to Sunday 9th November, was attended by all Arab Ambassadors to the United Nations, as well as by the Permanent Representative of the League of Arab States and a number of Arab legal experts.
In the framework of its contribution to the development of the Genève Internationale, the Geneva Centre has met with Mr. Christian Dupessey, Mayor of Annemasse, as well as with Mr. Gabriel Doublet and Ms. Géraldine Isorez-Mahler, respectively Executive Director and Project Manager at Cité de la Solidarité Internationale. Mr. Imad Zuhairi, Executive Director of the Geneva Centre, provided the counterpart with an outline of the Centre’s objectives and related programmes, while Mr. Dupessey presented the mission and scope of Annemasse Agglo, with a focus on the activities of Cité de la Solidarité Internationale as well as on its role in reinforcing the International Geneva.
The Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria is both an academic department and a non-governmental organization, which was founded in 1986 as part of domestic efforts against the apartheid system of that time. Its work mainly focuses on human rights awareness and education in Africa, as well as on the promotion and protection of the rights of women, indigenous peoples, and other disadvantaged and marginalized persons or groups across the continent.
Dr. Hanif Al-Qassim, Chairman of the Geneva Centre Board of Management, and Prof. Robert Roth, Director of the Geneva Academy
The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights is a joint centre of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute carrying out various projects in the field of human rights and international humanitarian law. It aims to conduct and promote scientific research, organize training courses and expert meetings, and provide legal expertise in the branches of international law relating to situations of armed conflicts.