The second edition of the Global Classroom on 12-16 May in Venice-Lido

The Global Classroom is an activity designed to strengthen the integration of the six Master’s Programmes and Diplomas in Human Rights and Democratisation of the Global Campus. During a week-long event academics and students of the Global Campus will gather together with the aim of enhancing discussion and exchange on a relevant human rights topic. The discussion will be enriched with the participation of experts including representatives of States, UN agencies and civil society organisation.

After the first edition of the Global Classroom in 2013, this year’s edition from 12 to 16 May at the EIUC premises on the island of Venice - Lido will revolve around the implementation of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).

With the UPR, all States have their human rights record reviewed by the Human Rights Council every four and a half years. As a Human Rights Council mechanism, the review is conducted in Geneva through a three and a half hour session during which any State can ask questions and make comments and recommendations to the State under review. This mechanism provides a unique opportunity for all States to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to share best human rights practices around the globe. There are also many aspects of the UPR that need to be properly assessed and improved such as how many States constructively engage in national consultations in preparation for the UPR and whether the follow-up of recommendations is properly ensured.

The Global Classroom will represent a mutually useful opportunity for academics, experts and students to engage in a debate about the strengths and shortcomings of the mechanism and to draw shared conclusions. While the first day of the event will be devoted to an introduction to the UPR and to presenting different perspectives from the State’s and civil society’s point of view, the rest of the week will be devoted to the presentation of reports concerning the implementation of this mechanism in different regions.

The keynote speakers of the opening session include representatives and experts of the UN such as Giuliano Comba, Chief of the UPR Section at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Stefania Dall’Oglio, Secretary General of the Committee for human rights at the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry and Michael O’ Flaherty, Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland Galway. There will be also the intervention of representatives of leading international NGOS engaged in the UPR process such as Jean-Claude Vignoli, Programme Director of UPR Info and Miloon Kothari, former Convenor of the Working Group on Human Rights in India.

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