In memory of David Maria Sassoli

The Global Campus of Human Rights - a network of 100 universities specialised on human rights education worldwide – is deeply saddened by the sudden death of David Maria Sassoli (11 January 2022), President of the European Parliament, who has been a close supporter of the Global Campus.

In the course of his mandate, the cooperation between the Global Campus and the European Parliament – originally developed around the Sakharov Fellowship Programme/Venice School of Human Rights and other long-standing joint activities - has further intensified and culminated in the joint organisation of the first Global State of Human Rights conference organised in Venice in July 2021. During the conference President Sassoli provided the opening keynote speech in which he articulated his vision for a Europe based on human rights and democratic values.

"Respect for human rights and democracy are the fundamental principles that underpin our Union. The founding fathers recognised that only by creating common institutions could we guarantee peace and protect human rights throughout Europe. They had witnessed the atrocities of World War II and saw how easily rights and freedoms could be crushed and democracies subverted. They wanted to create a system that would ensure this could never happen again. Our union has been a remarkable success in securing peace and protecting human rights. However, as the memory of war fades, we have to be vigilant against complacency. The lessons of the past are not etched permanently on our collective consciousness; it is only through education that we can hope to pass them on to each future generation." David Sassoli stated in an interview for our GC Human Rights Magazine, here.

During the Presidency of David Sassoli, the Global Campus is proud to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Parliament in 2020. Thanks to the help by the European Parliament, we were able to develop many activities to spread the importance of the human rights education all over the world such as with the training on international electoral observation, a workshop for exiled Belarussian students, and many online conferences and webinars. The Global Campus is currently planning the second edition of the Global State of Human Rights conference for next July 2022, also honouring the legacy of David Maria Sassoli.

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