The Head of External Affairs of the Government of Geneva Receives the President of the Arab Federation for Human Rights

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The Head of External Affairs of the Government of Geneva Receives the President of the Arab Federation for Human Rights

The Government of Geneva expressed its readiness to cooperate with the Arab Federation for Human Rights (AFHR) and to provide as much support as possible within the framework of its established rules to support the Federation’s strategy in the service of human rights, particularly in the Arab region.
This came during a meeting held last Friday at the headquarters of the government between the Director of the Office of External Relations, Steve Bernar, and Dr. Ahmed Thani Al-Hamli, founder and president of the Arab Federation for Human Rights. During the meeting, Mr. Bernard demonstrated his keenness by listening to AFHR’s projects and initiatives on human rights.

Dr. Al-Hamli highlighted the milestones of the Arab Federation for Human Rights since its inception in 2016, and stated that its main objective is to promote the universal concepts of human rights, deepen the concepts of peace, tolerance and national reconciliation among all components of society as well as to renounce violence, terrorism and extremism in all its forms and phases. AFHR also works to create a climate to promote the culture of rights and freedoms without conflict with governments.

Additionally, Dr Al-Hamli added that AFHR aims to establish a constructive dialogue that will contribute to establishing organizations and institutions that work effectively with governments. He considered that this cooperative approach is the best way to improve the situation of human rights in the Arab world, stressing his rejection of what is rumored about the conflict of concepts of rights in Islam with universal human rights standards.

Responding to questions from the Geneva government official, Dr. Al Hamli explained that the Federation’s strategy is based on a trilogy (tolerance, human security and human rights). He further said that based on these principles, one of AFHR’s main objective is to fight against radicalization and extremist ideologies which leads to violence and terrorism, and that the Federation is concerned about this phenomenon anywhere in the world, not just in the Middle East pointing to the hard work of the “Observatory Committee to Combat Terrorism” established by the Arab Federation for Human Rights in Egypt.

Furthermore, Dr. Al-Hamli stressed the independence of the AFHR from any influence, noting that he does not accept any government contributions that would affect this independence. He equally emphasized that the Federation is keen to promote human rights for all regardless of religion, color, origin or gender.

Dr Al-Hamli also expressed the hope that the activities of the Federation will receive the support of the Government of Geneva and of the competent authorities in Switzerland, as the name of this country has become universally linked to human rights. He described the meeting as very fruitful, and he welcomed the suggestions made by Mr. Steve Bernard highlighting that the Federal Department will work hard to take advantage of the ideas put forward during the meeting as much as possible, which will consolidate its presence, impact and ability to achieve its humanitarian goals.

In turn, Steve Bernard has warmly welcomed the communion so that the Geneva government can better understand the agenda of humanitarian federalism. “We are pleased that there are people who work in this way, in accordance with these concepts of human rights, and are ready to participate in any activities that have an impact in supporting and deepening human rights,” he said.

“The competent officials of the Geneva government are ready to interact, to attend, to give speeches and to suggest speakers in any event that serves human rights as long as they are not politicized or discriminatory,” Bernard said. He added: “We welcome any effective cooperation and participation of the Arab Federation for Human Rights.”

Mr. Bernard further praised Dr Al-Hamli’s emphasis on AFHR’s keenness on independence from governments and self-reliance in raising budgets to finance its human rights activities.

The meeting, which lasted for one and a half hour, was attended by the Secretary-General of the Federation, Sarhan Al-Tahir Saadi, who praised the welcoming atmosphere received by the Federal Government in Geneva.

During the meeting, a number of ideas were reviewed on projects related to building bridges of dialogue between Swiss and Western youth on the one hand and their Arab counterparts on the other. Some activities involving Swiss churches were also reviewed with a view to deepening interreligious dialogue and promoting tolerance.

The participants expressed the hope that cooperation between the Arab Federation for Human Rights and the concerned institutions and bodies in Geneva would produce fruits that would contribute to promoting and enhancing a culture of human rights and combating extremism and extremism.

Arab Federation for Human Rights

Geneva, March  19th, 2018

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