On April 19, 2009, one day before the international community gathers in Geneva to address racism, intolerance and persecution in the High-Level Segment of the UN Durban Review Conference (DRC) ["Durban 2"], a coalition of human rights, anti-racism and pro-democracy activists will assemble to place the most pressing situations on the world agenda.
The civil society conference will be hosted at the Centre International de Conférences Genève, adjacent to the Palais des Nations UN compound. Organized by an international coalition of human rights NGOs, this will be a parallel event to the DRC, in support of its aims of promoting universal human rights through the eradication of discrimination, intolerance and persecution.
Invited Speakers include:
- Vaclav Havel
- The Dalai Lama
- Elie Wiesel
- Bo Kyi, Burmese dissident, winner of 2008 Human Rights Defender Award of Human Rights Watch
- Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister and President of the Faith Foundation
- Koffi Annan, former United Nations General Secretary
- Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Egyptian dissident
- Yoani Sanchez, Cuban blogger
- Natan Sharansky, former Soviet dissident
- Mia Farrow, film star and Darfur activist
- MP Irwin Cotler, counsel for the oppressed & former Canadian Justice Minister
- Raphael Glucksmann, Etudes Sans Frontieres, Activist for Chechnya
- Dissidents and human rights activists from many other countries of concern.
Themes will include: 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; racism and genocide; democracy and authoritarianism; women’s rights; the state of freedom in the world; the universality of human rights and its opponents; terrorism and human rights; and much more. Because of pressures for the DRC Outcome Document to add provisions on “defamation of religion,” discussion on the protection of freedom of speech will also be timely.