The Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law (SSIHRL) and the Institute for Peace Studies with the cooperation of UNESCO Etxea, the support of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and the sponsorship of the Catalan Agency of International Cooperation and the Office for the Promotion on peace and Human Rights of the regional government of Catalonia organised a Meeting of Arab experts on the Human Right to Peace on 7 December 2009 at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
The objects of the expert meeting were as a follow:
- To share the Luarca Declaration on the Human Right to Peace with civil society, international organisations and academics from Arab region.
- To identify strengths and weaknesses of the Luarca Declaration with the purpose of promoting a sustainable peace in the region.
- To contribute to the elaboration of a draft universal declaration on the human right to peace which should represent the interests of the international civil society as a whole.
- To examine, in the context of the Arab region, the close relationship between the respect of all human rights –civil, political, social, economic and cultural- and the fulfilment of the human right to peace.
- To study the role played by vulnerable and marginalized groups in the development of the human right to peace.
- To analyse the impact of a gender approach in the promotion of the human right to peace.
- To examine the right of victims to know the truth, to access to justice and the right to obtain an effective remedy as a means to reach a sustainable and lasting peace in the region.
English and Arabic were the work language of the expert meeting. The peace gathering took place from 9,00 to 17,00. The program of work was the following:
- Opening session: Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Vice Chairman of IPS & Director of Bibliotheca of Alexandria and Mr. Jose Luis Gómez del Prado, member of the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries and representative of the SSIHRL.
- First session: the promotion of the human right to peace as means to promote human dignity and and peaceful relationships between cultures, religions and civilizations. The main speaker was Dr. Ismael Serageldin, Director of Bibliotheca of Alexandria. After this presentation, Mr. David Fernandez Puyana, representative of SSIHRL and UNESCO Etxea in Geneva opened the discussion among participants.
- Second session: Gender perspective of the human right to peace. The speakers were Mrs. Nagwa Shoeb, Executive Director of the Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement and Dr. Maha Maaz, Consultant of the Institute for Peace Studies.
- Third session: The Luarca Declaration on the Human Right to Peace and the World Campaign on the Human Right to Peace. The main speaker was Mr. Jose Luis Gómez del Prado, representative of the SSIHRL. After the second and third session there was a debate under the moderation of Dr. Azza El Kholy, Deputy Director of the Institute for Peace Studies.
- Approval of the Declaration of Alexandria on the Huma Right to Peace, which join Declarations of La Plata, Yaounde, Bangkok, Johannesburg and Sarajevo:
Participants agreed to adopt the following measures,
- 1. To disseminate the Declaration of Alexandria on the Human Right to Peace among civil society, academic, governmental, intergovernmental, national and international organisations and to present the Declaration before the President of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the UN Human Rights Council;
- 2. To appeal all international actors and people of goodwill in favour of the international codification of human right to peace to join the World Alliance on the Human Right to Peace launched on the occassion of the international day for peace.
Participated 28 experts from the University of Alexandria, diplomatics of Egypt to the peace process in Middle East, staff of the Bibliotheca of Alexandria, Human Rights Commission of Irak and NGO, such as Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies or Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. Finally, Mr. Jose Luis Gomez del Prado was interviewed by the newspaper "Al Akhbar", which distributes diary 5 millions of copies in all Middle East.
We appreciate the support given by the Catalan government to carry out this expert meeting.