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Hubert SchillingerThis is the second newsletter in our new format providing information about our activities and publications as well as of upcoming events and developments within the Geneva-based international organisations. At the same time it is the first one for which I take responsibility.

Since 1 August, I have taken over from my predecessor, Dr. Matthes Buhbe, as Director of the Geneva Office of the Friedrich‐Ebert‐Stiftung (FES Geneva). With a dedicated team of competent and motivated young professionals and my own experience of more than 30 years of working for FES in various assignments in Germany and abroad, we will endeavor to continue providing meaningful contributions through policy dialogue, policy advice and capacity-building in some of the priority areas of “International Geneva” such as trade policy, labour and social policy, human rights, as well as disarmament and security policy.

Hubert René Schillinger
Upcoming Events       |       Recent Events       |       International Agenda

Climate Change Threatening Human Rights: Challenges and Actions

10 December 2014, 11.30 am – 01.00 pm, Lima, Peru

A public side event at the climate negotiations in Lima (COP 20) on UN Human Rights Day will discuss the impact of climate change on human rights and how human rights law can actually inform the climate debate. Three Special Rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council will speak about climate change impacts on the fields of their mandates and explore how a human rights based approach could lead to better outcomes of the climate negotiations, leading up to a legally binding document in 2015.
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Panel Forum Business and HRDiscussing Case Studies – Triggering Change

01 December 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

At this panel discussion at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights we discussed on concrete cases the potential of the UN Guiding Principles for avoiding and mitigating conflict. Examples included the Hidrosogamoso Dam project in Colombia and the Tampakan Copper-Gold Mine in the Philippines.
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SPFSPF - A critical step in realizing the right to universal social security for all

21 November 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

The right to social security is one of the foundations for equitable and sustainable development. It can have a transformative role in contributing to long term inclusive growth while enhancing resilience against natural and manmade disasters, including economic, financial and social crisis. The Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors, a coalition of more than 80 NGOs and trade unions, therefore appealed to the members of the CESCR to issue a statement recognizing the ILO's Social Protection Floors Recommendation 202 as instrumental to the realization of the right to social security.
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LDC workshop on food security

14 November 2014, WTO, Geneva, Switzerland

Most LDCs have much potential to develop their agricultural production. The best policy to ensure food security is to increase the productivity and production of its farm sector in particular the small farmers. The overall objective of the workshop was to define the essential elements of an international legal framework of trade in agriculture that is conducive to a market-based agricultural development and food security in the LDCs. This workshop was organized jointly by FES Geneva office and the ideas centre.
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Regional Dialogue NairobiRegional Dialogue: East Africa and Multilateral Trade

05 - 07 November 2014, Nairobi, Kenyai

“Current and Future Challenges for the Multilateral Trading System – Perspectives from East-Africa” was the title of a three days' regional dialogue jointly organized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and FES offices in Kenya, Geneva and Berlin.
Around 40 civil society activists and journalists participated in order to better understand the WTO and its role in the international trading system. The dialogue provided a platform for in-depth and critical discussion of the multilateral trading regime and its consequences for development in East Africa.
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Arabic Speaking Training of HR TrainersArabic Speaking Training of Trainers Seminar on the UN Human Rights System

03 - 07 November 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

In cooperation with the Geneva Institute for Human Rights (GIHR) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Geneva Office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) offered this training of trainers seminar to selected participants of regional trainings. The training focused on the instrument of the Universal Periodic Review.
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UPR Incoming Kazakhstan20th UPR Session: Side Event on the Human Rights Situation in Iraq and Kazakhstan

30 October and 04 November 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

During the 20th UPR Session Iraq and Kazakhstan were reviewed by the Human Rights Council. FES Geneva co-organized two panel discussions with a coalition of national NGOs who submitted reports to the review. Some key issues and suggested recommendations concerning the situation in both country were highlighted.
View the Webcast UPR Iraq
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TISAFrom GATS to TISA: Global Trade in Services Forum

17 October 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

Until recently very little was known about the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA). Negotiated secretly in Geneva for almost 2 years, 23 WTO member states, including the EU counted as one, have been working to expand the provisions of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

This one-day event brought together leading global experts, trade unions from the public and private sector, civil society and government representatives to share information about the TISA. It aimed at shedding some light on these non-transparent negotiations affecting millions of people; not only in the TISA-countries but far beyond.

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Global Value ChainsGlobal and Regional Value Chains in Africa - Determining Strategic Approaches to Leverage New Trade Opportunities for the Continent

03 October 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

During the past years, Global Value Chain has become one of the hot topics in trade policy. While statisticians are developing new methods on calculating value-added in the different production phases, there is less clear guidance for governments in developing countries how to maximize benefits of their economies and societies from the global value chain. Increasing the value for Africa continues to be a major challenge.

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Framework Forum EventFramework Forum event: From the Open Ended Working Group to World Free of Nuclear Weapons

08 September 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

Co-sponsored by the Middle Powers Initiative, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Basel Peace Office and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, this forum discussed the Report of the UN Open Ended Working Group, presented to the Conference on Disarmament. The report includes a number of proposals to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. As yet such negotiations have not commenced.

This forum examined the proposals from the OEWG - and other proposals at the Conference on Disarmament and United Nations General Assembly - and explored what is required to remove the blocks and build political will to commence multilateral negotiations.

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Human Rights and Climate ChangeConsultation on the Relation between Human Rights and Climate Change

15 - 16 July 2014, Les Praz, France

There can no longer be serious doubt that climate change, like other environmental harms, can and does interfere with the enjoyment of human rights recognized and protected by international law. The effects of climate change on human rights have been recognized by the Human Rights Council, the principal UN human rights body. The question then arises: what duties does human rights law place on States with respect to climate change? 

This consultation examined the relationship between human rights obligations and environmental protection, with a focus on climate change. It also constituted a continuation of FES's efforts to foster dialog between experts addressing debates at the HRC and the UNFCCC respectively with the aim to strengthen the human rights dimension in climate change policies.

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More Events:

Responsibility and Accountability in the Post-2015 Agenda
01 December 2014,Geneva, Switzerland

Strengthening the Global South’s Voice in Global Tax Governance
30 October 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

China's Economic Policies and Today's Global Trade System
28 October 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

Making Progress on a Green Goods Agreement - The Challenges of a Living List
29 September 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

"Making the Right Impact?": Expert Workshop on Evaluating Human Rights Impact Assessments (HRIAs) in Trade and Investment Agreements
17 to 18 September 2014, Bogis-Bossey, Switzerland

Joint Action by Special Procedure Mandate Holders
02 September 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

ILO tripartite meeting on the right to strike

Since 2012, employers at the ILO do not recognize the right to strike as part of ILO Convention No. 87 from 1948. A permanent solution has not yet been found among the tripartite constituents of the ILO.
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FES Publication

Joachim Ruecker of Germany Appointed as President-elect of the Human Rights Council

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he third session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP)

08 - 13 February 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) is a subsidiary body that was established in December 2011. The mandate of the ADP is to develop a new legal instrument under the Convention applicable to all parties in order for it to be adopted at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP).
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02 - 27 March 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

This session will be the first under the newly elected German President of the UN HRC. As the main session of the year, it will spot a “high-level segment” and tackle issues like human rights aspects of climate change and environment, freedom of religion or belief, the rights of children and minorities, as well as the protection of human rights defenders.

World Social Forum Tunisia 2015

24 - 28 March 2015, Campus Al- Amanar, Tunis
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UNCTAD Global Commodities Forum 2015

13 - 14 April 2015, Geneva, Switzerland
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NPT Review Conference

27 April - 22 May 2015, New York, USA

The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology. A total of 190 parties have joined the Treaty, including the five nuclear-weapon States. As implementation of the action plan of the last Review Conference in 2010  lacks behind, stakes are high for this upcoming session.
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Recent Event
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