Towards Cooperation and Improving Relations
In an ideal world, human rights and international law would be applied uniformly, States would understand human rights as a holistic system of law, civil society and the non-governmental community would have more space. The politicization of human rights with the double standards exists in the work of the Human Rights Council and in other UN bodies. This allows for some States to enjoy virtual impunity for multiple crimes in on-going exploitation of peoples and territories revealing a credibility gap. We have witnessed a well-orchestrated naming and shaming of countries of the “South” by the “North” and the former colonial and occupying powers. The legacy of colonialism and the adverse impacts on the economies and infrastructures of developing countries are perpetuated by puppet machineries that remain in place to serve the economic and political interests of the former masters How can we contribute to the recognition of our common human dignity as the source of all human rights, which should be promoted and protected equally, without discrimination or privilege?
Everyone invokes the “rule of law”, but does that have anything to do with the “rule of justice”? What factors of the “rule of law” distinguish it from the “rule of profit”? The geopolitics of economic, social and cultural structures lead to political manipulation and military adventures which serve to infiltrate, subvert, divide and destroy the political cohesion and unity of vulnerable States and peoples. In a world of false information and propaganda and “national security” as a cloak to inhibit the truth, can we achieve freedom of expression and the press?
What can be said constructively about the on-going exploitation and destabilization of sovereign States or unresolved colonial conflicts or occupations? Is anyone in the UN seriously thinking about restitution to restore the economies and infrastructures of devastated nations when we pursue “no one left behind”? We hear about the “responsibility to protect”; can we correct the deficiencies in the human rights organizations and mechanisms to address violations without double-standards? What gaps exist in the principles of international order and how can these principles become effective? We will debate the geopolitics of these imbalances in the proper historical context, and formulate conclusions and recommendations towards achieving an equitable international order.
List of speakers:
H. E. Ambassador Ronald F Barnes, Moderator is appointed by Elders and is Chair of the free political institution the Indigenous Peoples and Nations Coalition (IPNC) from Alaska. Ambassador Barnes has more than 25 years of experience in international standard setting, has written extensively in submissions to Special Procedures, treaty bodies, the Universal Periodic Review and continues to participate in standard setting and is known for his expertise in the promotion of human rights at the United Nations. Ambassador Barnes is an alumnus of the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP).
Alfred Maurice de Zayas is currently Professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations and is retired from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Professor de Zayas has served as the first UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order from 1 May 2012 to 30 April 2018. Although retired, de Zayas continues to lecture at various institutions and events.
Alice Aby is the colonial name of Ekanaawaaki, her traditional name. She is a 7-year Residential School survivor from Secwepemc’ulcw, in the region of Kamloops, the unceded territory in the interior of the so-called British Columbia, Canada. Ms. Aby is a Ke7e, academic, a land defender and water protector, dedicating the majority of her life (68 years) to the sacred, inherent rights of our lands and waters for the next seven generations. She works extensively for the betterment of our Indigenous Peoples and is a lifetime advocate for human rights and looks forward to continuing this important work–kukstemc.
John N. Shipton is the father and defender of Julian Assange. Previously in the “Building Industry”, Mr. Shipton will give an update on the recent denial in the British Court to extradite Assange to the United States of America. Mr. Shipton speaks on tours providing explanations on importance of the Assange case to the underlying dangers and concerns of the international media on the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press in today’s world.
Dr. Vickie Casanova-Willis, PhD is Co-Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network (USHRN), a national network of over 300 organizations plus individuals working to strengthen a human rights movement and culture within the United States. Dr. Casanova-Willis serves with the US Human Rights Cities Alliance, Westside Justice Center Board, and is past President of the National Confere