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 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.
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”.
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 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.
“Every Day is Human Rights Day”: the Geneva Centre joins the international community in the celebration of the Human Rights Day
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” – Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 1.
Religious minorities in the Arab world between terrorism and crises of fragile States: Observation and Analysis
The Geneva Centre would like to share with its readers a study on religious minorities in the Arab world.
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.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women “Action for Equality, Development and Peace” (Beijing, 1995), which will be commemorated on the occasion of the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2015 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, a UN Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) review meeting took place on 6th and 7th November in Geneva. The meeting addressed key areas of progress and challenges concerning the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the UN ECE member States, and discussed ways to strengthen gender equality in the post-2015 development agenda.
Democratization process in Africa, as anywhere else, invoked transitional justice principles in order to redress legacies of human rights abuses in a manner that respects and protects the dignity of survivors and their relatives, without threatening future peace and security.