16 June 2020
A two-day online expert meeting on gender-responsive cities closed last week a series of three online conferences on inclusive cities – co-organized by the Geneva Human Rights Platform, UN-Habitat, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Geneva Cities Hub – aimed at informing UN-Habitat Strategic Plan for 2020-2023.
About 80 gender experts – members of UN-Habitat Advisory Group on Gender (AGGI), local level politicians and activists, the CEDAW Chairperson Hillary Gbedemah and the City of Geneva Mayor Sami Kanaan – discussed gender equality at the local level and measures that local government could take towards this goal.
‘As Chair of AGGI, I want to highlight the importance of local leaders and authorities and their role in each territory, as highlighted by the current pandemic, which takes place in cities. Political leaders today are concerned with the immediate responses to the pandemic, but this is also an opportunity for radical changes. Making structural changes demands to feminize politics, to integrate gender in urban planning, to achieve the needed basic housing and infrastructures and social opportunities for all. To address these challenges, political leaders must gather different actors and social organizations, universities, feminists and grassroots groups to implement the emergency action that can lay the foundations for radical changes. AGGI is ready to advise UN-Habitat in this endeavour, this is our role’ stresses Ana Falu AGGI Chair and Emeritus Professor at the National University of Cordoba.
This series of three online conferences – financed by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through UN-Habitat – aims at developing operational documents to translate human rights standards at the city level for local governments, city-level practitioners and decision-makers, as well as national governments interested in local governance issues.
The outcome documents of these three conferences will be made available on this space.
‘This series of expert meetings on inclusive cities collected expertise of about 250 individuals working on different aspects of inclusivity – from a general human-rights based approach to specific gender-responsive policies and inclusion of older persons and persons with disabilities. Inclusivity was also the keyword of the proceeding of our meeting series: translation into three languages, sign language and closed captioning insured the accessibility of this meeting for a diverse group of participants’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
‘These three Expert Group Meetings will assist UN-Habitat to better implement its four-years strategic plan by focusing on human rights and inclusive cities – in particular for persons with disabilities and older persons, with also a focus on gender – and remind all of us what is required to ensure that ‘no one is truly left behind’. In a world that is rapidly urbanizing and ageing, this was an invaluable opportunity to address some key issues and showcase how older persons and persons with disabilities contribute as active agents of change and not just as recipients of services’ stresses Katherine Kline, Co-chair of the UN-Habitat General Assembly of Partners-Partner Constituent Groups of Older Persons.
Virginia Raffaeli is a Research Officer for the Geopolitics and Global Futures Programme at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. In this interview, she tells about the programme and what it brought to her career.
For this spring semester, we offer a series of online short courses on topical and contemporary issues in the field of international humanitarian law, human rights and transitional justice.
This online event is co-organized by the Geneva Human Rights Platform, the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute, the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders and the Ordre des Avocats Genève.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, will provide participants with an introduction to substantive human rights law. It will start with an introduction to the nature and sources of international human rights law and its place in the international legal system. The course will then provide a presentation of the main principles applicable to substantive rights (jurisdiction, obligation and limitations).
From its adoption to its content and implementation, this training course provides a comprehensive overview of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants, as well as tools to protect and promote the rights of peasants, rural women, fisher, pastoralist and nomadic communities, as well as agricultural workers.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
The Treaty Body Members’ Platform connects experts in UN treaty bodies with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
UN PHOTO /Jean Marc Ferre