Feb 29, 2024
Human Rights at a Crossroads: Reassessing Global Commitments and Their Effectiveness - Ahmad M. Awad
Ahmad Awad
Founder and director of the Phenix Center for Economic and Informatics Studies

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Ahmad Awad

Human Rights at a Crossroads: Reassessing Global Commitments and Their Effectiveness - Ahmad M. Awad

Under the above mentioned title, an important forum took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 24, 2024, marking a significant moment in the ongoing discourse on human rights and international law.

The Forum organized by the Jordanian Coordination Coalition for Civil Society Organizations-HIMAM, in collaboration with the Arab NGO Network for Development-ANND, and Jordan Civic Coalition for UPR, and the Association of Victims of Torture in Switzerland.

This gathering was not just another event in the international calendar; it was a strategic and bold move aimed at shining a light on the critical challenges and pressing issues confronting human rights and international law today. The forum was held on the sidelines of the fourth universal periodic review of Jordan.

The forum emerged against the backdrop of glaring injustices and the palpable failure of the international community to uphold and defend the universal principles of human rights. Central to the discussions was the Israeli genocide war on Gaza, which starkly highlighted the biases and double standards prevalent among Western countries. The blatant disregard for international law has laid bare the deficiencies in the global human rights framework.

With participation from nearly 90 individuals, including diplomats, United Nations representatives, Swiss associations, and civil and political activists, the forum fostered a multifaceted dialogue. The hybrid format of the event, combining in-person and online engagements, ensured broad access and engagement, expanding its reach beyond the physical confines of the venue to a global audience via Facebook.

At the heart of the discussions was the alarming human rights situation in Gaza, where dozens of thousands of Palestinians individuals have been martyred, and more than 6,000 have disappeared, in addition to approximately 70 thousand injured predominantly women and children. The dire humanitarian crisis, characterized by acute shortages of food, water, medicine, and basic supplies, coupled with the destruction of vital infrastructure, paints a grim picture of a region in distress. The continuous bombardment and blatant violations of international law by Israel have not only exacerbated the suffering of the Palestinian people but have also posed serious questions about the effectiveness of the international human rights system.

The forum provided a platform for critical analysis and reflection on the state of global human rights commitments, particularly in the context of the Palestinian issue. It underscored the urgent need for a reevaluation of the principles and mechanisms that underpin the international human rights framework. The discussions delved into the legal case filed by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice on charges of genocide, highlighting the importance of accountability and the role of international legal institutions in upholding justice.

Speakers at the forum, including representatives from Palestine, Jordan, South Africa, and various legal and human rights experts, emphasized the systemic nature of the violations committed by Israel and the imperative for concerted action to address the root causes of the conflict -Represented Israeli Occupation of Palestine. The forum underscored the collective responsibility of the international community to prevent genocide and protect the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and resistance against occupation.

The forum also shed light on the critical role of civil society and the international community in challenging the prevailing narratives and advocating for a shift towards a more equitable and just global human rights system. The discussions highlighted the significance of supporting the Palestinian cause and the need for a comprehensive approach that addresses the underlying issues of occupation, apartheid, and colonialism.

In conclusion, the "Human Rights at a Crossroads" forum in Geneva served as a clarion call for the international community to reassess its commitments to human rights and take decisive action. The event highlighted the dangers of double standards in dealing with human rights issues and underscored the importance of adhering to universal principles of justice and equality. As the world grapples with complex challenges, the forum’s message is clear: the time for action is now, and the global community must come together to uphold the dignity and rights of all individuals, especially those who are most vulnerable.

Ahmad M. Awad

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