Monday, March 8, 2010



Geneva Summit A great summary of Part I.
Catch Part 2 today, webcast live!

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Geneva Summit

About the Geneva Summit (March 8-9, 2010)

The 2nd annual session of the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy, organized by an international coalition of human rights NGOs, aims to place some of the world’s most compelling human rights situations on the United Nations and international agenda.

The Summit will take place in Geneva, Switzerland on March 8-9, 2010, strategically timed to coincide with the main annual session of the U.N. Human Rights Council. This will provide human rights victims, activists and experts to take advantage of a unique global spotlight. The Geneva Summit will build on the success and momentum of the inaugural April 2009 gathering, which was widely acclaimed in the international human rights community.

The Summit will be held in the Centre International de Conférences Genève, a premier venue situated next to the UN Human Rights Council. More than a standard conference, the Geneva Summit is designed to make a difference by educating, energizing and empowering human rights activists around the world.

Goals and Aims of 2010 Geneva Summit

The objective of the 2010 Geneva Summit is to give voice to victims of the world’s worst abuses, empowering those who suffer repression under closed systems of government.

The global situation of human rights is deteriorating. In Iran, the contested June election sparked an unprecedented wave of state-sponsored violence and repression. Thousands of peaceful protesters were beaten, arrested, and tortured. In North Korea, the Communist regime continues to deny all basic freedoms to its citizens. In Sudan, the regime of Omar al-Bashir continues to kill thousands of innocent people with impunity.

Regrettably, the chief international body charged with protecting human rights is failing to live up to its mission to stop these and other abuses. The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council—as acknowledged in a recent report by 17 of its 47 member states, supported by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Commission of Jurists—falls short in its handling of country situations, in the efficiency of the process involved in highlighting violations, and in its reactivity to crisis situations. Strong politicization of the Council, driven by bloc-based voting patterns, has led to inaction in face of atrocity and abuse.

Opportunities do exist, however. The international stage can be used to put a spotlight on the world’s worst abusers. The Geneva Summit plans to offer dissidents and human rights activists from around the world a global platform and forum to share their personal struggles, their fight for freedom and equality, and their vision for how to bring change.

This platform will also be an occasion to create synergies and build a strong network between political dissidents and human rights activists from around the world, a way for them to exchange best practices, success and challenges.

This year’s Geneva Summit will add a second day, to allow for workshops and training sessions that will strengthen skills and build coalitions.


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