Please take a moment to read and share the words of our Chairman, and to raise awareness about the importance of human rights education for all.

“Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, and students, on behalf of the Geneva Centre Board of Management it is my honour and pleasure to welcome you to this special occasion, where we congratulate twelve young women who have completed a training course in ‘Human Rights and Global Dialogue’.

We are here today not only to commend our students on what they have achieved in an intensive week of lectures, debates, and dialogue, but also to celebrate the opportunities that this course has opened up for the future of human rights in the United Arab Emirates. Human rights education constitutes an essential contribution to the long-term prevention of human rights abuses, and represents an important investment in the endeavour to achieve a just society in which all rights of all persons are valued and respected – Our closing ceremony today does not represent the end of a process of change, but a very promising beginning.

We are particularly honoured to congratulate our all-female group graduates, who have impressed their remarkable intellectual curiosity and insight upon every one of our lecturers. At the Geneva Centre, we recognise that education is important for everyone, but we believe is especially crucial to catalyse educational opportunities for young women. Education is the essential entry point to many other opportunities, and the advancement of women in the Middle East and North Africa is having an unprecedented ripple effect on the mind-set of families, institutions, and societies.

Investing in the education of young women is also one of the most effective ways to reduce gender discrimination, work towards a just and equal society, and promote and protect human rights, and we are honoured to have worked with such exceptionally engaged students. The course has covered a range of important human rights issues, including human rights and Islam, legally enshrined violations of the rights of women, and the need to protect vulnerable groups  such as domestic and migrants workers from systematic human rights abuses. Our students also discussed the difficulties of transitional justice in conflict areas such as Syria, the origins and applications of international humanitarian law, and the need to inculcate a vibrant civil society and NGO culture in the Middle East.

 Our motivated and articulate trainees have not missed any opportunity to engage in these debates, and every student here today is warmly invited to become a Geneva Centre Human Rights Ambassador, where they can promote human rights awareness within the UAE or as an intern in our Geneva office.

Ambassadors, human rights experts, academics, and students, I would like to extend my most sincere gratitude to everyone in this room for making our training programme such a success, and I feel sure that – in the hands of our competent graduates – a bright future lies ahead for the promotion and protection of human rights through global dialogue. Thank you”.

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