CIHRS 23rd Regional Forum of the Human Rights Movement (August / September 2020)
With growing attention given to the potential effects of COVID-19 on the increasingly eroding prospects of reform and respect for human rights across a number of Arab states, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) convened the 23rd Regional Forum for Human Rights, addressing the future of human rights and reform in several Arab states under the pandemic and its possible aftermath.
Founded in 1999 by CIHRS, the Forum is an intellectual initiative bringing together human rights defenders and academic experts from the Arab region and across the globe, to discuss themes related to the future of human rights and democracy in the region. The sessions of the Forum will be held online from Monday, August 31 until Monday, September 7.
The first session of the Forum, held on Monday, provided a holistic overview of the region and highlighted the diminishing prospects reform. Bahey eldin Hassan, the director of CIHRS, opened and moderated the session. Dr. Joost Hiltermann, program director for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group, highlighted in his paper, presented during the session, how COVID-19 is an accelerant of challenges and crises facing the region. The storms of 2011, he cautioned, may turn into “full blown hurricanes.” Dr. Michele Dunne, director of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC commented on the paper, highlighting that while reform is not very likely, change is inevitable. Hassan added, however, that any change witnessed by Arab states would likely be through gradual – not revolutionary – reform. Participants from Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Palestine intervened, commented and submitted questions to the main speaker and discussant.
The remaining sessions of the Forum will focus on a number of different contexts, such as autocratic consolidation, civil conflicts, and democratic transitions across the region, including in Sudan, Algeria, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Libya. The papers of the sessions will be electronically published by CIHRS after the conclusion of the Forum and the finalization of the papers.
The sessions of the Forum will be attended by human rights defenders and academic experts from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, the US, and Europe.
List of Previous Forums:
- The First International Conference of the Arab Human Rights Movement Prospects for the Future -Casablanca- April, 1999
- The Conference on Human Rights Education and Dissemination: A 21st Century Agenda -Cairo- October 16, 2000
- Bridge of return: The rights of Palestinian refugees in light of the settlement track -Rabat- April 2001
- Cairo Declaration Against Racism -Cairo- July 2001
- Terrorism and human rights after September 11 -Cairo- January 2002
- The Beirut declaration on the regional protection of human rights -Beirut- June 2003
- Consultative meeting on practical ways to renew religious discourse. -Paris- August 2003
- Kampala Declaration: On the Prospects of the Constitutional Arrangements in Sudan – Kampala- January 2004
- Second independence: Towards an initiative for political reform in the Arab world -Beirut- March 2004
- Priorities and Mechanisms of Reform – Cairo- June 2004
- Rabat declaration: Toward equal partnership for democracy, human rights, fair peace and economy and social development, December 2004
- The Final Statement of the Second Civil Forum Parallel to the Arab Summit -Rabat- 17-19 February 2006
- Human rights and the renewal of religious discourse: How can the Arab world benefit from the experiences of the non-Arab Islamic world? -Cairo- April 2006
- Is there any future for movements of democratic change in the Arab world? -Cairo- May 2007
- Horizons of political reform in the Arab world -Cairo- July 2010
- A conference on Transitional Justice in Egypt and the MENA Region: Challenges and Opportunities -Cairo- October 2011
- The United Nations and the African Union discuss human rights challenges with Arab human rights defenders following the “Arab Spring” – Cairo- April 2012
- The future of democratization and human rights four years after the “Arab Spring” -Casablanca- November 2014
- Is the solution Namibia-style UN responsibility for Arab states threatened with collapse? -New York- October 2015
- What a horizon for the Arab world tomorrow: the challenges of modernity, democratization and opportunities for change. -Tunisia- 12-13 December 2016
- Issues for the human rights movement in volatile political and social contexts -Tunisia- November 2018
- Prospects for peace, democracy, and reform amid the second wave of the Arab Spring – Brussels- December 2019
CIHRS 21st Regional Forum of the Human Rights Movement concluding statement here
CIHRS 21st Regional Forum of the Human Rights Movement publications:
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