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.
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, will host 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?, will take place on 11th December 2015, from 10:00 to 13:00, at Palais des Nations (Room VIII).
From 16th to 19th November, the Geneva Centre held a training course entitled Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: Strengthening the Rule of Law. The 13 young professionals that took part in the training programme included members of the Emirates Association of Lawyers and Legal Experts, of the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, diplomats from the League of Arab States in Cairo, as well as UAE diplomats working at the UAE Permanent Mission to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva.
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.
To mark the International Tolerance Day, Mr. Ricardo Espinosa, Executive Director a. i. of the Geneva Centre, participated in a conference organized by Youth for Human Rights International on 14th November 2015, entitled If Tolerance meant Respect and Sharing… (“Si Tolérance signifiait Respect et Partage…”).
On 9th October, the 2015 ceremony of the Dies Academicus took place at the University of Geneva, before political and academic authorities.
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.
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.
In 2002, in its resolution 57/129, the UN General Assembly decided to designate 29 May as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. The rationale behind the choice of this date lies in the fact that 29th May coincides with the anniversary of the creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), in 1948, in order to monitor the ceasefire after the Arab-Israeli War, which was the first UN peacekeeping mission ever.