Nantes hosts World Forum on Human Rights from May 16 to 19The French city of Nantes will host the World Forum on Human Rights from May 16 to 19, an event organized by the city at the initiative and with the support of UNESCO. The Forum will focus on three major themes: Human Rights and Terrorism; Globalization and the Struggle Against All Forms of Discrimination and Exclusion; Poverty as a Violation of Human Rights.
Some 900 participants are expected to attend the Forum, which will bring together researchers, policy makers and representatives of civil society to reinforce the ties between research and policy in the domain of fundamental human rights.
The Forum will be opened on Sunday, May 16 at 4:00 p.m. by local Parliamentary Representative and Mayor of Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Pierre Sané, UNESCO’s Assistant-Director General for Social and Human Sciences, Jean Favier, President of the French National Commission for UNESCO, Michel Tubiana, President of France’s League of Human Rights (no English on web site, my translation,) Joël Thoraval, Chairperson of the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, Alvaro Gil-Robles, Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe, Kari Tapiola, Executive Director of the Standards, Principals and Rights at Work Sector of the International Labour Organization, and Bertrand Ramcharan, United Nations Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights.
How to respond to the terrorist threat while maintaining respect for human rights? How to prevent terrorism? Do links exist between extreme poverty, discrimination and terrorism? These are some of the questions that will be raised on May 17 during the first plenary session devoted to the theme of Human Rights and Terrorism. Paul Hoffman, Chairperson of the International Executive Committee of Amnesty International will address the issue during a debate moderated by French Senator and former Justice Minister, Robert Badinter. Other panellists include Francisco Santos, Vice-President of Columbia, and Hassan Bubacar Jallow, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The five roundtable discussions on this issue will discuss media and terrorism and the relationship between national institutions and the protection of human rights.
A second debate entitled Globalization and the Struggle Against All Forms of Discrimination will be introduced on Tuesday May 18 by Doudou Dične, Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Abdelfattah Amor, Chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, will moderate the debate. Beate Winkler, Director of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia and Diego Garcia Sayan, Director of the Commission Andina de Juristas (no English official translation. Forum web site has it in Spanish. English suggested: Commission of Andean Jurists) will be among the panellists. Six roundtables are scheduled on topics including: linguistic diversity and human rights; women, fundamentalism and human rights; discrimination and education.
On Wednesday, May 19, the debate will focus on the theme of Poverty as a Violation of Human Rights. Moderated by Sidiki Kaba, President of the International Federation for Committee for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Chairperson of the United Nations working group on extreme poverty. Abdelbasset Ben Hassan, Director of the Arab Institute of Human Rights, Paul Bouchet, former President of French non-governmental organization ATD Fourth World and Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General on the Millennium Development Goals will all give their views on the subject. Five roundtables will address this issue, focussing on education on human rights; globalization of knowledge and of education.
The World Forum on Human Rights is organized in cooperation with the French National Commission for UNESCO and is supported by the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights and the International Labour Organization. Placed under the patronage of French President Jacques Chirac, the Forum is dedicated to Sergio Vieira de Mello, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, killed in Baghdad on August 19, 2003 and is held in the framework of the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle Against Slavery and its Abolition.
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