CIHRS Participates in Two International Strategic Meetings on the United Nations Human Rights Council; and a Cross-regional Network of NGOs is Announced

In International Advocacy Program by CIHRS

On 29-30th October, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) participated in an “Expert Talk” on Perspectives of the UN Human Rights Council held in Berlin, Germany. The “talk” was jointly hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung organization and Forum Menschenrechte, and brought together representatives from the German government, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, universities, German NGOs, and NGOs that are actively engaged at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). The purpose of the Expert Talk was to share information on the HRC with NGOs and others unfamiliar with the HRC, and for Experts on different aspects of the HRC to learn from one another while attempting to answer the question: How can the new rules and structures of the HRC be applied and engaged with in order to achieve the most effective results? CIHRS acted as a key speaker during two round table discussions: (1) Assessment of strategic alliances of states within the HRC, and (2) Participation and strategic fields of activities for NGOs and Nation Human Rights Institute s in the HRC- consequences for their self organization.

On 2-3 November 2007, CIHRS participated in A Strategic Meeting on NGO Participation at the UN Human Rights Council: 2006-2007 Evaluation and Planning for 2008, hosted in Sao Paulo, Brazil by Conectas and the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR). 30 representatives from NGOs from every region of the world attended the meeting. During the meeting CIHRS served as a facilitator of a group discussion on how to improve the participation of NGOs from the global South. Throughout the two days presentations, debates and group consultations centered around questions concerning several aspects of the HRC including: (1) The advocacy priorities and strategies of NGOs, (2) evaluation of NGO coordination, (3) how to strengthen southern NGO participation, and (4) how can the influence of NGOs increase during the 2008 sessions?

Furthermore, the formal establishment of a cross regional network of international and regional NGOs, the HRCNet, established by CIHRS and other partner organizations from around the world in order to facilitate cross regional cooperation among NGOs at the HRC, was announced at the meeting in Brazil. CIHRS is core member of the group and a part of its steering committee. Other core group members include: Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Conectas Direitos Humanos, Democracy Coalition Project, Forum Asia, Human Rights Watch, International Service for Human Rights, and Open Society Institute.

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