8th Annual Geneva Summit

February 2016



All sessions to be held at the Geneva International Conference Center (CICG)

9:30   Opening Address: Reflections on the 10th Anniversary
of the United nations Human Rights Council

Lord David Trimble, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, member of the British House of Lords, former First Minister of Northern Ireland

9:50     The Return of Authoritarianism

Moderator: Christopher Walker, Executive Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies, National Endowment for Democracy

  • Svitlana Zalishchuk, Ukrainian MP, Steering Committee of World Movement for Democracy
  • Irwin Cotler, Former Canadian Minister of Justice & MP, lawyer for political prisoners, Emeritus McGill University Professor of Law
  • Yang Jianli, President of Initiatives for China, former political prisoner
  • Joan Hoey, Editor of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index

11:00   Presentation of Geneva Summit 2016 Women’s Rights Award

Presenter: Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, former Minister of Education of Luxembourg

Moderator: Sohrab Ahmari, Journalist, The Wall Street Journal

  • Vian Dakhil, Yazidi Member of Iraqi Parliament
  • Jan Ilhan Kizilhan, German psychologist who created a clinic in northern Iraq for women victimized by ISIS

12:00 Flogged for Blogging: The Case of Raif Badawi

  • Ensaf Haidar, wife of Raif Badawi, Saudi blogger currently in jail, 2015 Laureate of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, interviewed by journalist Tom Gross

12:30   Networking Lunch

14:00   Presentation of Geneva Summit 2016 Courage Award

Moderator: Javier El-Hage, General Counsel, Human Rights Foundation

  • Mitzy Capriles, wife of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma who is currently in jail on politically-motivated charges

14:20   Is China Upholding Its Duties as a UN Human Rights Council Member?

Moderator: Yang Jianli, President of Initiatives for China, ex-political prisoner

  • Anastasia Lin, Human rights advocate on China, 2015 Miss World Canada
  • Jigme Golog, Tibetan monk, recently released from jail

15:00   Fighting Oppression, Defending Human Rights

Moderator: Irwin Cotler, Former Canadian Minister of Justice & MP, advocate for political prisoners, Emeritus McGill University Professor of Law

  • Mohamed Fahmy, Al Jazeera journalist, recently released from Egyptian prison, now launching his own press freedom foundation
  • Darya Safaei, Campaigns for right of Iranian women to enter sports stadiums
  • Orhan Kemal Cengiz, Turkish human rights lawyer, columnist for Today’s Zaman and Özgür Düşünce

16:00   Voices for the Voiceless

Moderator: Philippe Robinet, CEO Editions Kero

  • Daniel Mekonnen, Exiled Eritrean human rights lawyer and scholar
  • Lee Young-guk, Former bodyguard of Kim Jong-il, arrested and tortured for trying to defect, eventually escaped to South Korea
  • Rosa Maria Paya, Cuban human rights activist, daughter of late dissident Oswaldo Paya

17:15   Beyond Geneva: Advancing Human Rights in 2016

Ambassador Alfred H. Moses, Chair of UN Watch

17:30   End of Summit

By Year: 2015 | 2016