The Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS) is hosting a conference on “Human Rights: Building a Post-Pandemic World” on Thursday, April 8, to address the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
The conference will be attended by high-profile ministers, officials and representatives of UN organizations. Participants in the conference are civil society organizations working in the field of development that will present their successful experiences since the explosion last year.
ECSS has adopted the International Agenda for Human Rights as a general framework for the conference to be discussed in the sessions to present provocative and practical recommendations on the subject.
Dr. Khaled Okasha, General Manager of ECSS, said: “ECSS understands that the issue of human rights requires collaborative efforts, so the conference will see more participants representing the wider community, including representatives from the Egyptian government, the private sector, civil society. , voluntary groups, national councils, human rights organizations and international organizations that will be significantly represented at the conference. ”
The conference is planned to cover a wide range of topics related to human rights at home and abroad.
The conference will be opened by Dr. Okasha, followed by two introductory statements by Dr. Hala Al-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development and Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation. Scheduled to attend the opening session, too, Drs. Yasser Abdel-Aziz, a member and representative of the National Council for Human Rights.
High-profile participants in the conference include the ministers of health and population, education, social solidarity, chairmen of the National Council for Women and the National Council for Human Rights, as well as representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Organization for Migration ( IOM), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Save the Children Fund and a number of civil society institutions.
The first session of the conference, entitled “Man is the Purpose: Human Rights Amid the Pandemic” addresses two main points: first, the promotion of the right to health given the fundamental weaknesses that COVID-19 has rejected, while underlining the need to give a fair international priority and ensure the fair distribution of vaccines, and, secondly, to combat pandemic-related discrimination and racism, in particular discriminatory and racial behavior against more vulnerable groups such as women, refugees and migrants with a focus on tools and prevent such prejudices to build a better post-pandemic world.
Participants in the first session are: Dr. Hala Zayed, Minister of Health and Population, who will speak on “Where does the right to health lie within the human rights system?”; Dr. Naima Al-Qusayr, WHO Representative in Cairo, will discuss “Pandemics and threats to the right to life”; and Mr. Jerome Fontana, Head of the ICRC Delegation in Cairo, will address the critical topic of “Ensuring the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines”.
Other speakers in the first session include Drs. Maya Morsi, President of the National Council for Women, who will answer the question “Have women suffered additional consequences because of COVID-19?” Laurent De Boeck, Head of the IOM Mission in Egypt, will cover “The Twin Sufferings of Migrants and Refugees.” Dr. Salah Sallam, a member of the National Council for Human Rights will address “The New Approach to Human Rights in the Post-Pandemic World”. Dr. Abdel-Moneim Said, Chairman of the ECSS Advisory Board, will close the session focusing on “Freedoms and characteristics of a post-coronavirus world”. The moderator of the session will be Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Al-Dweiry, Deputy General Manager of ECSS.
The second session will cover “Challenges for Equality and the Promotion of Sustainable Development Efforts”, addressing the effect of inequality and economic, social and cultural inequalities, especially in education and digitalisation, on deepening the negative consequences of COVID-19.
The session will shed light on the importance of sustainable development and its role in creating a better post-pandemic world in which the rights of present and future generations are protected and environmental dimensions are taken into account.
Dr. Tarek Shawky, Minister of Education and Technical Education, will open the session by answering the question, “How has COVID-19 affected the right to education?” Dr. Maged Othman, head of the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera), will discuss the shift towards digitalisation; Essam Shiha, head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, will present the features of the new social contract; Tarek Radwan, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee in the House of Representatives, will cover aspects of development; Tamer Kirollos, Regional Director of the Save the Children Fund, will speak on the protection and support of children in poor and marginalized areas; and Dr. Khaled Habib, an expert on human development and planning, will conclude the session by discussing the use of soft power in disease control. Dr. Gamal Abdel-Gawad, member of the ECSS Advisory Board, will moderate the session.
The third session, “Building a Post-Pandemic World: Solidarity is the Gem,” focuses on fostering solidarity and promoting collaborative efforts to combat the pandemic and build a better post-coronavirus. The session will address internal and external aspects, magnifying Egypt’s efforts, particularly those of civil society developed individually or in cooperation with the government.
Dr. Nevine Al-Kabbaj, Minister of Social Solidarity, will discuss the role of solidarity efforts in building a better post-pandemic world. A number of civil society organizations involved in launching pandemic campaigns will review their efforts to curb the negative consequences of the pandemic.
Dr. Khaled Okasha, General Manager of ECSS, will close the session by focusing on the role of civilian work in the post-pandemic world. Dr. Noha Bakr, a member of the ECSS Advisory Board, will moderate the session.