For Specific Stakeholders

Expert Seminar, United Nations

In 2016, GHR gave lectures and briefings during conferences and for specific partners.

Course to National Institutions

(Geneva, Palais Wilson, 4 May 2016)

GHR contributed again to the annual Course on the international human rights system, of the Ebert Foundation, OHCHR and the Secretariat of the national institutions (GAHNRI) for staff of national institutions (Geneva, 2-6 May). Adrien-Claude Zoller presented the Course on the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms. Participants came from national institutions from Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Morocco, South Africa, Uganda, Malaysia, Palestine, Timor Leste, Germany, United Kingdom, Latvia and Ukraine.

Course to students from the University of Padova

(Geneva, 9 & 10 May 2016)

As in previous years, members of GHR Senior Management Team (Isabelle Gallino, Thomas Harris and Federica Parisoli) were involved in the study trip to Geneva of a group of 30 students from the University of Padova. Adrien-Claude Zoller gave them two Courses, on 9 May (on the political trends in the HR-Council) and on 10 May (on the main thematic challenges in the HR-Council).

Human Rights Working Group of the World Council of Churches

(Geneva, 27 May 2016)

Peter Prove, Director of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC), has set-up a human rights working group composed of staff of the WCC on the strategic engagement with the UN human rights mechanisms. Hosted in the Ecumenical Centre, GHR was invited to contribute.

Prepared by Bruschweiler Patricia and Asfaw Semegnish, a first meeting with WCC staff took place on 27 May. Adrien-Claude Zoller gave an overview of the UN mechanisms. A discussion followed on the working priorities of the participants: women’s rights, rights of the child, country files, in particular Palestine, statelessness, freedom of religion, shadow reports to treaty bodies and UPR, and relations between Geneva and Brussels.

International Expert Meeting on the Human Rights Council

(Berlin, 10-11 October 2016)

 The annual Expert meeting on the HR-Council, convened by the Ebert Foundation, the German Institute for Human Rights and Forum Menschenrechte took place on 10-11 October in Berlin. Theme this year was the 10th Anniversary of the HR-Council. Adrien-Claude Zoller chaired the Working groups on the migration crisis and on the role of the civil society. He also spoke at the public conference of the Monday evening devoted to the assessment of the achievement of the HR-Council.

Webinar for the World Council of Churches

(27 October 2016)

Following a request of several members of the CCIA, a first Webinar on UN human rights mechanisms and procedures was organized. The Webinar took place on 27 October 2016. It was prepared and animated by Asfaw Semegnish. The Course was given by GHR. It had four parts of 15 minutes: on the UN structure and the human rights standards; on the treaty bodies; on the Special procedures; and on the Universal Periodic Review. Each section of the Course was followed by questions and answer of the trainer.

The summary of the Course was sent in advance by E-mail to the participants. A video recording of the Webinar has been made and sent to CCIA members, so that each of them could use it in briefings to be organized locally.

Paris Colloquy on the UN system of human rights protection

(Paris, Université Paris II, Centre Panthéon, 7-8 November 2016)

On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the two UN Covenants, the Research Centre on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (CRDH) and the University  Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) organized on 7-8 November their 11th International Colloquy under the theme: ‘the UN system of human rights protection: assessment and future’. Many UN Rapporteurs, academics and diplomats attended this conference on the strengthening of the UN system.

During the conference, Adrien-Claude Zoller participated in the round-table on the future of the special procedures. He introduced his communication entitled: ‘The UN special procedures, origins and challenges’, describing the creation of these country and thematic procedures, the negotiations during the Vienna World Conference, the institution building of the HR-Council and the challenges for the coming years.

Course on Minority Protection

(OHCHR, Geneva, 11 & 25 November 2016)

As in previous years, GHR participated in the Course organized by OHCHR, as part of its Minorities Fellowship Programme (7-25 November). On 11 November, Adrien-Claude Zoller gave a Course on The international community and minority protection. He spoke of the historical development of minority rights: the League of Nations, the standard-setting process in the UN, the Durban processes, the 20th Anniversary of the UN Declaration of Minorities. Together with Michèle Buteau (Head Indigenous and Minority Section of OHCHR), he gave a second briefing on the concepts of indigenous peoples and of minorities (25 November).

The 12 Minority Fellows came from: India (Christian religious minority), Pakistan (Hindu religious minority), Iraq (Yezidi ethnic minority), Egypt (Christian religious minority), Bosnia Herzegovina (Polish national minority), Cameroon (Anglophone linguistic minority), Colombia (Afrodescent), Japan (Korean ethnic minority), Moldova (Roma national minority), Moldova (Russian linguistic minority), Kyrgyzstan (Uzbek ethnic minority), and Ukraine (Polish ethnic minority). At the end of the Course, they spoke at the UN Minority Forum.

Course for diplomats from Guinea

(GCSP, Geneva, 13 December 2016)

From 12 to 21 December, the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) conducted in Geneva a Course on State building for 10 diplomats from Guinea. Adrien-Claude Zoller animated the session devoted to the UN human rights mechanisms. He spoke on the usefulness for the States of the special procedures, the treaty bodies and the UPR. The discussion focused on the preparation of States reports, the role of the civil society and the public policies to follow-up on the recommendations, often with the UN support.

Other briefings for stakeholders in 2016
  • Public lecture in the cycle of conferences ‘Witness’ of the Parish St.-Pie X, Geneva, on ‘Human rights, justice, resistance, challenges: vision of a defender’ (8 March).
  • Briefing to a dozen students of the School of Journalism from Neuchatel by Ana Maria Rodriguez (Colombian Commission of Jurists) on her lobby experience in the UN and Adrien-Claude Zoller on the decision-making process in the UN  (22 March).
  • At the invitation of the Ebert Foundation, several Geneva-based NGOs, including GHR, had a brainstorming with six Syrian lawyers based in Syria and members of the Syrian League for Citizenship, visiting Geneva (6 April).
  • Vittorio Mainetti and Adrien-Claude Zoller animated the Course at the University of Geneva on the UN and human rights for 20 students of the University of California was animated by (8 April).
  • On 24 June, GHR gave a briefing to 7 young professionals from Ukraine on the UN human rights bodies and mechanisms. The group was on a study visit to Geneva and Switzerland (19-25 June) with the support of the Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Foundation.





Course for students of the University of Padova
(Geneva, 21 May 2013)

On 21 May, GHR gave a Course to a group of students from the University of Padova having a one-week study trip in Geneva. Thirty-eight students attended. The Course concerned the international context of the initiatives of the UN (former) Commission of Human Rights and HR-Council. It explained the UPR mechanism and proposed an assessment of the work of the HR-Council, the treaty bodies and the OHCHR. Having close working relations with the Human Rights Centre of the Padova University, GHR had meetings with Prof. Cinzia Clemente, Prof. Paolo de Stefani and Ms. Claudia Pividori (a former GHR trainee).

Lecture at the German Chinese Human Rights Forum
(Geneva, 9 June 2013)

At the invitation of the F. Ebert Foundation, GHR contributed to the debates during the XI German Chinese Human Rights Dialogue (Geneva, 9 to 12 June). Adrien-Claude Zoller intervened on the first day with a synthesis on the experiences from the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review. He further exchanged views on the importance of UPR with the members of the Chinese and German Delegations.

Annual German partners’ Conference on the HR-Council
(Bossey, 7 and 8 October 2013)

Adrien-Claude Zoller participated in the (annual) International Conference convened by the F. Ebert Foundation, the Forum Human Rights and the German Institute for Human Rights on the HR-Council. These of the 2013 Conference was: ‘The HRC – a mechanism for access to justice ? Role, impact and expectations of civil society’ (Bossey, Ecumenical Institute, 7 and 8 October 2013). He presented a communication on the country-resolutions of the HR-Council and on the Commissions of Inquiry set-up by the HR-Council.

Training for OHCHR on Minorities
(Geneva, 5 November 2013)

At the invitation of OHCHR, Adrien-Claude Zoller gave a Course in the Palais des Nations to Minority Fellows and staff of the OHCHR on the theme: ‘Minority rights in the League of Nations and in the UN system’. Given on the eve of the 6th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues, this Course focused on the different international policies regarding minority protection. 13 fellows and students attended the class. They came from England, Canada, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan, Latvia, Nepal, and Colombia.

Course at the University of Padova
(12 and 13 November 2013)

The Masters programme of the University of Padova has set-up a ‘Padova Human Rights Laboratory’, inviting field experts in human rights and humanitarian action, international organizations’ officers, diplomats, practitioners, and scholars from foreign universities and research centres to address students and the faculty and report on their experience and studies. On 12 and 13 November 2013, Adrien-Claude Zoller contributed to the first Human Rights Laboratory. Theme of his Course was ‘The decision making process in the UN regarding human rights violations since 1945’.