2 September 2019
Felix Kirchmeier has been named Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP), a new project of the Geneva Academy. He takes up this new role in addition to his position as Manager of Policy Studies at the Geneva Academy.
As GHRP Executive Director, he will notably lead the development of this new platform to anchor it in international Geneva. This includes liaising with diplomatic missions, United Nations (UN) experts, civil society actors and academia, identifying human rights issues needing coordination and a multi-stakeholder approach, hosting expert meetings and public conferences, including the flagship annual conference of the GHRP.
‘I look forward to contributing, via this platform, to constructive and impactful discussions on the work and functioning of Geneva-based human rights mechanisms and bodies and the challenges they face’ stresses Felix Kirchmeier.
‘At the moment, we will focus on the 2020 Review of the UN Treaty Bodies’ he explains.
This topic is at the origins of the GHRP, as the Geneva Academy led a global academic process to gather input to this important UN process.
‘We are now in the phase of introducing the recommendations that came out of this process into the intergovernmental debate at the UN General Assembly’.
‘Besides this, we will also look at the way Geneva-based UN human rights bodies weigh in on global debates such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate change or anti-corruption efforts. During the second half of 2020, we plan to look into the connectivity of the Geneva-based human rights system with regional human rights systems’ he adds.
The Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP) provides a neutral and dynamic forum of interaction in Geneva for all stakeholders in the field of human rights to debate topical issues and challenges related to the functioning of the Geneva-based human rights system. Relying on academic research and findings, it works to enable various actors to be better connected, break silos, and, hence, advance human rights.
As a ‘Mechanisms Lab’, the GHRP supports the international community to engineer solutions to ensure the sustainable functioning of the Geneva-based human rights mechanisms and bodies, allowing them to address human rights challenges effectively.
‘The Geneva Human Rights Platform is an innovative tool, open to all actors in Geneva and beyond, to genuinely address today’s major human rights challenges. As an academic institution, the Geneva Academy is the perfect entity to coordinate such project’ explains Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy.
Dr Jonathan Andrew is a Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy, where he conducts research on the impact of emerging digital technologies, such as the development of social media channels, on the promotion and protection of human rights.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
Knowledge transfer is at the heart of our activities. During 2019, our professors, researchers and staff have ensured such transfer in international humanitarian law, human rights and transitional justice via research, our three masters, training courses, events and the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing human rights mechanisms. The 2020 edition will have a specific focus on water pollution and scarcity.
The Geneva Human Rights Platform contributes to this review process by providing expert input via different avenues, by facilitating dialogue on the review among various stakeholders, as well as by accompanying the development of a follow-up resolution to 68/268 in New York and in Geneva.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy