On 14 September, SGI delivered a Joint Oral Statement titled “Focus of the Fourth Phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education” during the 39th session of the Human Rights Council, on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning (NGO WG on HREL). The Statement urged that the focus of the Fourth Phase should be youth, noting that youth are the critical agents of change. It highlighted the importance of empowering youth through Human Rights Education to become active global citizens, “ultimately contributing to build inclusive societies, overcoming social divides, hatred and discrimination aiming at the lofty objective of the UN of leaving no one behind.”
On 18 September, the NGO WG on HREL organized a side event titled “World Programme for Human Rights Education, fourth phase: Empowering youth to building just, peaceful and resilient societies,” co-sponsored by the States Platform on Human Rights Education and Training (comprised of Brazil, Costa Rica, Italy, Morocco, The Philippines, Senegal, Slovenia and Thailand) and UNESCO Geneva Liaison Office. The side event aimed to bring together Member States, intergovernmental organizations, human rights institutions and civil society, to share ideas and approaches that could be useful for the implementation of the Fourth Phase of the World Programme.
Abdulaziz Almuzaini, Director, UNESCO Geneva Liaison Office, gave opening remarks, followed by a panel discussion where Elisa Gazzotti of SGI joined other speakers from the States Platform on Human Rights Education and Training and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). As co-chair of the NGO WG on HREL, Elisa introduced the newly-launched interactive website on human rights education: https://www.power-humanrights-education.org/. Developed this year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to contribute to the goals of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, the website was created by SGI, HRE 2020, the NGO WG on HREL, and the States Platform for Human Rights Education and Training, with support from OHCHR.