Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
3 June 2019
During one day, more than 100 experts, practitioners, academics, diplomats and representatives of NGOs, international organizations and National Human Rights Institutions discussed and debated the connectivity of human rights mechanisms.
‘We aim, with this annual conference, at creating a space for open discussion on the functioning of the Geneva-based human rights mechanisms and proposals for potential improvements to keep them fit for purpose’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP).
‘The intensity of the discussions and exchanges among panelists and participants clearly show that we met this objective’ he adds.
Inspired by Professor Sarah Cleveland who identified in her keynote address the stage of human rights today as ‘the Age of Connectivity’, four panels explored the connectivity of human rights mechanisms by focussing on particular issues and on how the mechanisms address them.
‘We had for instance very interesting discussions on the contribution of human rights bodies to the development of international human rights law. But the conference looked also into specific issue areas in order to discuss the connectivity not only in the abstract. These include the linkages with the Sustainable Development Goals, or the contribution by human rights mechanisms to the protection of civil society space, in order to discuss the connectivity not only in the abstract’ stresses Felix Kirchmeier.
The conference’s panels have been organized with a wide range of partners, including civil society organizations, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and academic institutions.
‘I am very grateful to all our partners for their involvement and for making this conference a success. Working with such a wide range of stakeholders allows for increased sharing, exchange and collaboration across different human rights actors’ explains Felix Kirchmeier.
The GHRP provides a neutral and dynamic forum of interaction in Geneva for all stakeholders in the field of human rights to debate topical issues and challenges related to the functioning of the Geneva-based human rights system. Relying on academic research and findings, it works to enable various actors to be better connected, break silos, and, hence, advance human rights.
As a ‘Mechanisms Lab’, the GHRP supports the international community to engineer solutions to ensure the sustainable functioning of the Geneva-based human rights mechanisms and bodies, allowing them to address human rights challenges effectively.
The GHRP is hosted by the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, a joint centre of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. It is supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
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Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy