Forty eminent and influential human rights advocates and leaders will converge at The University of Winnipeg from February 23 to 25, 2007, for Global College’s Human Rights and Social Justice: Setting the Agenda for the UN Human Rights Council conference. The proactive human rights forum—to address how individually and through coalitions, citizens can affect change—focuses on war-affected children, gender rights and the rights of indigenous people. Workshops, panels, debates and discussions will generate a declaration of solutions and action ideas to help set the agenda for the UN Human Rights Council. The declaration will be delivered to the UN Human Rights Council by Canada’s Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, Paul Meyer, one of the keynote speakers.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for students, academics, activists and ordinary citizens to become engaged in the global issues surrounding human rights and have their voices heard,” said University of Winnipeg President Lloyd Axworthy. “Our inspiring speakers represent a wide spectrum of expertise in human rights. They will bring awareness and in some cases, first hand experience, of the ravages of human rights abuses. And, they will guide our conference delegates on a stimulating journey toward affecting change on the world stage and shaping human rights policy.”
Sandra Altner, Executive Director of UWinnipeg’s Global College, said this is the first of many dialogues that Global College will facilitate between citizens and experts on issues of human rights and social justice. “Through the collective will of individuals and organizations, we can create positive change and influence international agreements that will improve the quality of life of those suffering around the globe from human rights injustices.”
Approximately 40 national and international academics, government representatives, NGO leaders, witnesses and protagonists in the human rights arena will be speaking at the Human Rights and Social Justice conference including:
- Lloyd Axworthy – President and Vice Chancellor, University of Winnipeg
- Irwin Cotler – Member of Parliament – Mount Royal
- Roméo Dallaire – Senator, Lieutenant-General of the Canadian Forces (Retired)
- Paul Heinbecker – Director & Senior Researcher, Centre for International Governance Innovation
- Monia Mazigh – wife of Maher Arer, defender and champion of campaign to clear his name and redress the wrong done to him
- Ovide Mercredi – Chief, Grand Rapids First Nation
- Paul Meyer – Canada’s Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council
- Marianne Mollman –Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch
- Bill Pace – Executive Director, World Federalist Movement
- Allan Rock – former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations
- William Schabas – Director, Centre for Human Rights/Ireland
- Lois Wilson – Ecumenist in Residence, The Toronto School of Theology
Conference tickets are $95 for regular attendees and $45 for students including lunches and refreshments. For more information or to register, please visit: http://humanrights-socialjustice.uwinnipeg.ca
Part of Human Rights Action Week at The University of Winnipeg, the Human Rights and Social Justice conference is sponsored by major media partners the CBC and The Winnipeg Free Press and has received generous support from Canadian Heritage, the Government of Manitoba, Rights & Democracy, City of Winnipeg and Manitoba Chair of United Nations Studies.
Human Rights Action Week:
- Chantal Kreviazuk fundraising concert Feb. 19, 2007 at the Centennial Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. in support of the new “Opportunity Fund” at The University of Winnipeg. Tickets are $42.50 and available at Ticketmaster. A limited number of VIP seats are also available for $100 which includes access to a pre-concert reception and a tax receipt for a portion of the ticket price.
- Rights & Democracy Network students: Case Study: The UN Human Rights Council featuring Muriel Smith – Feb. 21, 2007 from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. in Pitcairn Lounge.
- Bonnycastle Lecture with Bill Pace, Executive Director, World Federalist Movement Feb. 22, 2007 from 7:30 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall (3rd Floor, Centennial) at UWinnipeg.
- Round Table hosted by UWinnipeg’s Collegiate for high school students who are members of their Social Justice committees Feb. 22, 2007 from 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.