A symposium and exhibition titled “Transforming Lives: The Power of Human Rights Education” (on display from 10-18 December) were held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. The event was co-organized by the Permanent Delegation of Slovenia to UNESCO, Soka Cultural Association of France, NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning (NGO WG on HREL), International Organization for the Right to Education and Freedom of Education (OIDEL), World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) and SGI Europe Buddhist Association (SGI EBA).
During the opening of the exhibition on 11 December, Jean-Claude Gaubbert, President of Soka Cultural Association of France, Veronika Boskovic-Pohar, Deputy Permanent Delegate at the Permanent Delegation of Slovenia to UNESCO, and Elisa Gazzotti of SGI and Chair of the NGO WG on HREL delivered opening remarks.
The Symposium took place on 13 December, consisting of four roundtables on the following themes: (1) The World Programme for HRE: the fourth phase; (2) Discrimination and social inclusion; (3) Global citizenship; and (4) Faith and human rights. Gazzotti moderated the roundtable on the fourth phase of the World Programme for HRE, which will start in January 2020 with a focus on youth. The roundtable offered different perspectives on this Programme phase, addressing opportunities and best practices as well as challenges, such as how to include young people who do not have access to the formal education system due to conflict.
The symposium was closed with the remarks from Doudou Diène, former UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and President of the Board of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.