Cairo, 29 July 2019. The Secretariat General of the League of Arab States in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights organized the third Arab regional conference on the protection and promotion of human rights entitled "The Impact of Occupation and Armed Conflict on Human Rights in Specific Women and Children Rights” on 28 and 29 July 2019 in the Headquarters of the Secretariat General of the League of Arab States, Cairo.
Under the auspices of the Secretary General of the League of Arab States Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Arab and international personalities representing Member States of the Arab League participated in the conference, as well as Specialized Arab organizations and committees, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI), civil society organizations, concerned United Nations agencies and competent academics, legal experts and researchers.
The conference discussed and examined for two days international and regional frameworks for the protection of women, the impact of the occupation on the lives of women and children, the impact of armed conflict on vulnerable groups and ways to promote victims' access to justice.
The participants in the conference were divided into four drafting groups where recommendations were formulated on ways to implement minimum international standards for the protection of human rights in Palestine in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. The recommendations also included ways to mitigate the impact of conflicts on fragile groups, ways to strengthen legal protection for vulnerable groups at the national level, as well as recommendations for the post-conflict phase.
The conference was inaugurated by H.E. Ambassador Ms. Haifa Abou Ghazala, Deputy Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights via a recorded message, Mr. Mohammad Askar, Minister of Human Rights in Yemen and Mr. Francesco Motta, Chief of Asia Pacific, and MENA branch in OHCHR Geneva. In their words they said:
Ambassador Haifa Abou Ghazala: “The current situation in our region presents a tremendous challenge to the human rights discourse. The past period has witnessed an unprecedented escalation of civil strife and bloody terrorism, both within States and across borders. These conflicts have been accompanied by unprecedented violations of their scope, unity and brutality - of the most basic human rights to safe living".
Ms. Michelle Bachelet: “People are looking for our organizations to be on their side in the fight for justice, dignity and social equity. Within the challenges faced by the region lies the opportunity to build on our common goals for action that will bring real change to the people of the region. I look forward to continuing this engagement”.
Mr. Mohammad Askar: “We affirm today as Arabs, that we are facing the most dangerous challenges in history, a threat to Arab national security”.
Mr. Francesco Motta: “Today’s conference is a testimony to our desire to address the violations of human rights caused by occupation and armed conflict. I am sure that through our cooperation we will take several steps in the right direction today, and end up with concrete commitments and developments that will help address and promote the basic human rights of vulnerable groups within the region”.
This conference falls under the remit of cooperation framework between the League of Arab States and the United Nations, based on General Assembly Resolution 67/11 titled "Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States" (19 October 2012) and General Assembly Resolution 67/169 titled "Enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights" (20 December 2012). In reference to the outcome of “the eleventh general meeting,” held in Vienna from 10 – 12 July 2012, it was agreed that a high-level regional conference is to be organized every two years on human rights.