Summits

program

Human Rights

Welcome with Hillel Neuer

Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the UN Human Rights Council:  “We meet only a few days after the conclusion of the main annual session of today’s United Nations

Human Rights

Opening Address with James Kirchick

James Kirchik, journalist, author, and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the universality of human rights: “Don’t let anyone tell you that certain cultures are immune to democracy or individual

Moderator

The Struggle for Democracy in Latin America with Centa Rek

Centa Rek, Senior Legal and Policy Associate at the Human Rights Foundation, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On authoritarianism in Latin America:  “For over a decade now Latin America in general and more specifically countries like

Cuba

Arbitrary Arrest in Cuba with Juan Carlos Gutiérrez

Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, human rights lawyer who represents prominent Venezuelan opposition leaders and political prisoners including Leopoldo López and Juan Guaido, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On arrest and imprisonment of Dr. Eduardo Cardet: “Dr. Cardet

Venezuela

How the United Nations Fails Venezuela with Diego Arria

Diego Arria, Venezuelan politician and diplomat who served as Venezuela’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1991–1993) and President of the Security Council (March 1992), addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On Venezuela: “Today, Venezuela is a

Nicaragua

Nicaragua Cries Freedom with Felix Maradiaga

Felix Maradiaga, Nicaraguan opposition leader and human rights activist, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full remarks in English and Spanish. On human rights abuses in Nicaragua: “It was the case of the child Conrado Alvaro, who was shot in

Presenter

Introduction for Professor Irwin Cotler with Brandon Silver

Brandon Silver, Director of Policy and Projects at the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. Introducing Professor Irwin Cotler: “Professor Cotler has not only served as an academic and theoretician on

Political Prisoners

Political Prisoners as a Looking Glass into a Resurgent Authoritarianism with Irwin Cotler

Irwin Cotler, Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights and former Canadian Justice Minister and MP, addresses the 11th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the threat to democracy:  “We are witnessing a resurgence of global authoritarianism on

Saudi Arabia

Why Raif is in Prison with Ensaf Haidar

Ensaf Haidar, wife of liberal Saudi blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up an online platform for political and religious debate, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks.

Human Rights

How to Build a Safer World with Michael Levitt

Michael Levitt, Canadian MP and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the need for advocacy: “Unfortunately, we are seeing a resurgence of gross human rights violations around the word…And the

Burundi

Refugee from Burundi’s Regime with Ketty Nivyabandi

Ketty Nivyabandi, human rights defender who was forced to flee her home in Burundi in May 2015 after leading a peaceful protest, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On dire human rights situation in Burundi: “Burundi’s regime

Turkey

Targeted by Turkey with Nurcan Baysal

Nurcan Baysal, Kurdish author, journalist and human rights defender who in 2017 was awarded the “Brave Women Journalists Award” by the Italian Women Journalists Association, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On being targeted by the Turkish

Syria

Speaking out against ISIS with Abdalaziz Alhamza

Abdalaziz Alhamza, award-winning journalist and co-founder of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, which exposes the atrocities committed by the Assad regime and ISIS, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On becoming a citizen journalist: “The local

FGM

2019 International Women’s Rights Award with Nimco Ali

Nimco Ali, British-Somali feminist and social rights activist who co-founded and directs Daughters of Eve, a survivor-led organization focused on ending female genital mutilation (FGM), addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy after receiving the Summit’s International Women’s Rights Award – see quotes below, followed by

Human Rights

Do Human Rights Matter? with Alfred Moses

Ambassador Alfred Moses, Chair of United Nations Watch, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the battle for human rights in the world: “It has always been a battle between freedom and oppression.” “We had total oppression

China

Imprisoned by China with Yang Jianli

Yang Jianli, leading Chinese dissident and pro-democracy activist, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On being at Tiananmen Square in 1989: “A friend and I arrived in the square late on the night of June 3 just

Vietnam

Detained in Darkness with Nguyen Van Dai

Nguyen Van Dai, an exiled Vietnamese pro-democracy activist and lawyer who spent four years in Vietnamese prison for spreading propaganda against the state, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On lack of civil liberties in Vietnam: “Discussing

Iran

Held Hostage in Iran with Richard Ratcliffe

Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of imprisoned British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was arrested in Iran almost three years ago while on holiday with her infant daughter, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks.  On the arrest and

The Philippines

The Senator in Solitary with Vincente de Lima

Vincente de Lima, the brother of Philippines Senator Leila de Lima, currently in prison for criticizing President Duterte’s Drug War, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On Duterte’s assault on human rights: “Imagine a pile of corpses

Tibet

Presentation of Geneva Summit 2019 Courage Award with Dhondup Wangchen

“I realized the true meaning of freedom and how freedom is more important than one’s life.” On abuse of Tibetans: “Without the support I received from the international community, I would be long dead.” “The moment the Tibetan person is labelled — that is just a dead body.” “When I

Speakers

Abdalaziz Alhamza

Award-winning Syrian journalist, co-founder of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently

Nimco Ali

Award-winning women’s rights activist and campaigner against FGM

Diego Arria

Former Venezuelan Ambassador to the UN and President of the Security Council

Nurcan Baysal

Award-winning Kurdish journalist and activist, recently detained by Turkey

Irwin Cotler

International Chair of Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, former Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada

Ensaf Haidar

Human rights activist and wife of Saudi political prisoner Raif Badawi

Hakima El Haité

President of Liberal International, Former Minister of Environment for Morocco

Vicente de Lima II

Brother of Philippine Senator Leila de Lima, jailed for criticizing Duterte’s Drug War

Yang Jianli

Chinese dissident, former political prisoner, Tiananmen Square massacre survivor and President of Initiatives for China

James Kirchick

Journalist, author, and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution

Michael Levitt

Canadian MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Former Chair of the Human Rights Subcommittee

Elham Manea

Professor of Middle East affairs and family spokesperson for Raif Badawi

Felix Maradiaga

Nicaraguan opposition leader, targeted by the government on false criminal charges

Alfred Moses

Chair of UN Watch, former U.S. Ambassador to Romania, Special Presidential Envoy for the Cyprus Conflict, Special Counsel to President Jimmy Carter

Ketty Nivyabandi

Poet and exiled Burundian democracy activist, led a movement of women-only protests

Richard Ratcliffe

Husband of arbitrarily detained British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, leads #FreeNazanin campaign

News

Media Hits

The Manila Times Features Philippines Political Prisoner Leila de Lima

Leila de Lima fights on Rachel A.G. Reyes – April 23, 2019 Click here to view original article. WALK to the end of a rough concrete path and through two locked gates and one reaches Sen. Leila de Lima’s jail cell in Camp Crame, the high security headquarters of the

Press releases

Russian Political Prisoner Anastasia Shevchenko Honored at 2019 Geneva Summit

GENEVA, March 26, 2019 — An empty chair sat on stage at the 2019 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in honor of Anastasia Shevchenko, a Russian political prisoner and democracy activist. Full remarks: The empty chair on this panel is dedicated to the Russian human rights activist Anastasia

Media Hits

11th Geneva Summit: In the News

Media Mentions of 2019 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy For videos, photos, transcripts, quotes, and more, click here. The Independent article on International Women’s Rights Award winner Nimco Ali: “Anti-FGM campaigner Nimco Ali to receive human rights award at Geneva Summit” Bild article on children of jailed Saudi

Press releases

Leading Nicaraguan Dissident Heads to UN For Geneva Human Rights Summit

GENEVA, February 19, 2019 — A coalition of 25 non-governmental human rights groups announced today that Felix Maradiaga, a leading opponent of the Daniel Ortega administration in Nicaragua, will share his story at the 11th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy on March 25-26, 2019, which opens at United Nations European headquarters in Geneva,

Dissidents Gather at the United Nations for Opening Session of the 2019 Geneva Summit

SPEAKERS AT THE 2019 GENEVA SUMMIT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY Hakima el Haite, President of Liberal International, Former Minister of Environment for Morocco James Kirchik – Journalist, author, Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institute Juan Carlos Guiterrez – Human rights lawyer, President of the World Jurist Association’s Human Rights Institute Diego

Media Hits

The Independent Features Geneva Summit Women’s Rights Award Winner

Anti-FGM Campaigner Nimco Ali to Recieve Human Rights Award at Geneva Summit Sabrina Barr – March 9, 2019 Click here to view original article. Anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner Nimco Ali is to receive a human rights award at this year’s Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. The announcement was made on Friday

Press releases

Tomorrow: Dissidents Meet at UN For Shadow Rights Summit

Human rights heroes to spotlight China, Cuba, Turkey, Venezuela, Burundi, Vietnam, after UNHRC session turned blind eye  GENEVA, March 24, 2019 — Dissidents and political prisoners’ families from around the globe have gathered in Geneva for a two-day summit that opens tomorrow at the United Nations European headquarters, aimed at giving a voice