MA students, with course director Dr Rama Mani, musician Paul Grant, UNOG Library and WFC staff

“The Transformative Power of Justice”: A Creative Tribute on UN Human Rights Day

On December 8th, 2016, the United Nations in Geneva marked UN Human Rights Day in dramatic style. The UN Library in Geneva partnered with World Future Council, Geneva Academy and the UN Missions of Afghanistan and Cyprus to host an event entitled ‘The Transformative Power of Justice’ featuring an unprecedented format of theatre, music, poetry, testimonies and a high-level roundtable dialogue.

Following an evocative welcome by the UN Library Director, Mr. Francesco Pisani, Mr. Adam Abdelmoula, Director of the Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, set the scene by underlining the challenges of securing human rights in the today’s turbulent context, and engaging the participation of all citizens of the world.

“This invites us to witness what is, to imagine what can be, and to enact the change we need in our lives and in the world.” 

A diverse group of MA students from 5 continents, 28 nationalities, and collectively speaking over 16 languages, offered a multi-cultural production on transformative justice and human rights through the arts. They are the first generation of the Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and The Rule of Law at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. As part of their program, the students were introduced by Dr. Rama Mani to Transformative Justice and the Theatre of Transformation, which in Mani’s own words “invites us to witness what is, to imagine what can be, and to enact the change we need in our lives and in the world”. In the words of the MA students, through this course, “Professor Mani opened our spirits into a different way of thinking and applying transformative justice in post conflict societies. She helped us dream big and envision the changes we want to make in this world.” 

MA students (and kids) performing

MA students’ and kids’ performance of peacebuilding.

The power to enact transformative justice was potently portrayed in the students’ presentation. Starting with poignant renditions of ancient and original poems on justice in Persian and Arabic, students representing all five continents converged to offer a riveting Theatre of Transformation performance. They enacted brief testimonies of victims and perpetrators from around the world who, stage by stage, witnessed destruction, awakened new possibilities, envisioned change, and enacted transformation in their lives and in society. The students’ performance culminated poignantly with one MA student’s four small children portraying child soldiers who reject their weapons and choose to build peace for future generations. Mani then enacted three evocative real-life testimonies of individuals she has met and collaborated with in post-conflict countries, to demonstrate the two key messages of Transformative justice: in order to be transformative for individuals and societies as a whole, justice has to

(i) include all people in society, whether victims, perpetrators, bystanders or beneficiaries, and

(ii) integrate all dimensions of injustice, cultural, ecological, and metaphysical, in addition to legal and political.

An unforgettable highlight was the music performed by Paul Grant, the world-renowned maestro of Indian, Iranian, Afghan and Kashmiri music (www.Paulgrant.net). Mr Grant, who has been instrumental in preserving the ancient musical traditions of war-torn countries like Afghanistan, lent his blissful melodies on sitar, santoor and table to accompany the entire performance and enrapture the audience.

Roundtable with Ambassadors from Cyprus, Colombia and Afghanistan, chaired by Dr Mani

Roundtable with Ambassadors from Cyprus, Colombia and Afghanistan, chaired by Dr Mani.

The performance paved the way for a profoundly insightful high-level roundtable, featuring Ambassador S. Dalil from Afghanistan, Ambassador A. Ignatiou from Cyprus, Mr. Valencia representing Ambassador Londoño Soto from Colombia, and Mr. Abdelmoula from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Each speaker commended the students for bringing to life so creatively and compellingly this transformative approach to justice and rights. Each speaker expressed how the joint performance had affected them personally and informed them professionally. In turn, each of the distinguished panellists brilliantly applied the transformative justice lens to analyse the journey and lessons learned in each of their countries, and from their own diverse experience.

Ambassador Dalil’s illuminating analysis of Afghanistan underscored the need to redress structural injustice and recognise the interdependence between security, justice and development. The lessons learned from Afghanistan emphasise that justice has to empower the community and be bottom-up, inclusive and human-centred. “Justice has to be population-owned and population-managed,” she concluded.

Justice has to empower the community and be bottom-up, inclusive and human-centred.

Ambassador Ignatiou reiterated the key learning from the students’ performance that transformative justice has to be comprehensive, broad and inclusive. His fine analysis of the complex conflict in Cyprus demonstrated, through several examples, that although ‘the past doesn’t rest neatly in the past but affects the future and the present,’ it is still possible to pursue reconciliation and cultural justice even concluding peace.

Ambassador Londono was represented by Counsellor Mr. Valencia, who pointed out that “justice has been the most complex and most criticized” part of the peace process in Colombia. Yet, Colombia’s justice package marks a turning point for Transitional Justice, as it is innovative in its integrality and holistic nature, with truly transformative potential for Colombian society and for the future of transitional justice.

Mr Abdelmoula drew on his extensive experiences addressing transitional justice from Somalia to Iraq to Liberia to point out that ‘no country is immune to conflict’. He noted that ‘forgive and forget is the cause for repetition’ of conflict. He recommended that to avoid this vicious cycle it is essential “to dig deeper, analyse, expose and keep memory alive,” and he underlined the imperative to give a much greater leadership role to women in justice and peace.

The lively interaction with the highly diverse audience raised pertinent concerns, fascinating questions and insightful remarks on the diverse dimensions and applications of transformative justice.

This unique and fascinating event exposed the convergence between students, speakers and audience members on the need for a new, inclusive and transformative approach to justice. It confirmed that the human dimension is key to restore justice and build peace. They confirmed that arts, culture and creativity are essential to chart new avenues to secure rights in today’s turbulent context. It reminded us that the principles and practices of transformative justice are not new but timeless, harking back to indigenous cultures and ancient civilizations around the world. It reaffirmed that in today’s divisive context it is essential to go beyond retribution and build inclusive, integrated and transformative justice to secure durable peace.

– By Clarita Montant, Ingrid Heindorf, Daniela Ferreira and Dr. Rama Mani

Refugee children

New report: Exemplary practices to protect refugee women and girls in the EU

Hamburg, 16 December 2016 – Women and girls fleeing from war, persecution and violence in their home countries are particularly at risk of sexual and gender-based violence during their journey to safety and when they arrive in the European Union. In advance of International Migrants Day on 18 December, the World Future Council, filia.die frauenstiftung and UN Women National Committee Germany launch a report on good practices to better protect refugee women and girls in the EU.

Read more

Refugee children

Protecting refugee Women and Girls from Violence

Abstract

The aim of this report is to suggest positive actions that international organisations, local, regional, or national authorities, civil society organisations and NGOs can take to better protect refugee women and girls from violence. This is with the goal of promoting the exchange of good and promising practices and opening up a space for transnational dialogue, experience-sharing and peer-to-peer learning.

 

Protecting refugee Women and Girls from Violence

protecting-refugee-women-and-grils-from-violence

Abstract

An increasing number of refugees worldwide are women and children. In many cases, they are forced to leave their homes due to armed conflicts, insecurity or generalised violence. For women and girls, their migration experience is shaped by some particular features, the roots of which lie in the gendered forms of violence they may face throughout their journey. Some may leave their country of origin because of experiences of gender-based violence or in fear of such violence. Without regular pathways to reach a country where they can seek international protection, women often have to resort to dangerous routes. During their journey, they are exposed to sexual and gender-based violence.

However, once they reach their destination, many women and young girls still face risks due to limited access to support services, a lack of effective procedures to identify survivors of gender-based violence and inadequate reception conditions in accommodation facilities.

The aim of this report is to suggest positive actions that international organisations, local, regional, or national authorities, civil society organisations and NGOs can take to better protect refugee women and girls from violence. This is with the goal of promoting the exchange of good and promising practices and opening up a space for transnational dialogue, experience-sharing and peer-to-peer learning.

 

A century of weapons of mass destruction

At the invitation of the mayor of the town of Ypres, WFC project manager Holger Güssefeld spoke as a representative of the citizens of Hamburg at the conference “A century of weapons of mass destruction: FINAL!”. On April 24, 2015, he recalled the Hamburg bombing of 1943.


 

The meaning of the endogeneity of money for ‘conventional QE’ and the different kinds of ‘helicopter money’

The-meaning-of-the-endogeneity-of-money-for-conventional-QE-and-the-dif-hm

Abstract

Financing large scale climate investments and other SDG duties needs new tools. One tool could be a new kind of monetary finance by the central banks. The future finance department of the WFC developed a theoretical background paper which demonstrated how the new tool works and why it precisely fits with recent findings of economic science.

The Transformative Power of Justice: can justice prevail over power?

To mark Human Rights Day, the World Future Council and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights are co-organizing a special event on December 8th, focusing on the “Transformative Power of Justice”.

8th December 2016 / 12:30 - 14:15

Library Events Room (B-135) Palais des Nations, Building B, Door 20, 1st floor

Through a combination of diplomatic and political expertise as well as a dynamic performance, multi-media presentation, and an interactive dialogue, the event will address some thorny questions: can justice prevail over power? Can humanity survive brutality? Can right overcome might? And, most importantly, can the human rights agenda be strengthened and not circumvented during turbulent transitions?

Eminent guest speakers confirmed their presence for the high-level round table that will be moderated by World Future Councillor Dr. Rama Mani and that will provide diverse perspectives on human rights challenges and transformative justice applications in times of volatile transition:

  • H.E. Ambassador Suraya Dalil, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan
  • H.E. Ambassador Beatriz Londoño, Permanent Representative of Colombia
  • H.E. Ambassador Andreas Ignatiou, Permanent Representative of Cyprus
  • Mr. Adam Abdelmoula, Director of Human Rights Council and Treaty Bodies Mechanisms Division, OHCHR

Moreover, a lively theatrical performance by Dr. Rama Mani, who is also Director of the Geneva Academy’s MA course on Transformative Justice, will vividly portray real cases of transformative justice, accompanied by renowned musician Mr. Paul Grant and by MA course participants hailing from transitional societies and diverse countries.

Held at the United Nations Office in Geneva from 12:30 to 2:15pm, the event and reception are kindly co-hosted by the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan and Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the United Nations Office in Geneva.

Invitees not in possession of a UN badge should register on the UNOG website at www.unog.ch/librarytalks, bring a valid ID and a copy of this invitation on the day of the event to the Pregny Gate, located at 8-14 Avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10.

COP13: Costa Rica and the Benefits of Prosperity Sharing

Today, the thirteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP13) kicks off in Cancun, Mexico. Delegates from around the world are expected to add shape and definition to their country’s long term commitments to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Back in 1998, Costa Rica introduced a Biodiversity Law which protects not only the variety of animal and plant life in the country but also the genetic and biochemical resources derived from them. In 2010, the country won the Future Policy Award 2010 for their successful approach.

Raising awareness of biodiversity loss, which is threatening wildlife, the environment and our common future, has been at the core of the work of the World Future Council for many years. In the face of the looming biodiversity crisis, policy-makers must work urgently towards ambitious and comprehensive policies – and good solutions already exist. In the run up to the conference we interviewed a number of policy influencers in Costa Rica, a country well known for its success in combining the use of its biodiversity with economic growth.

Back in 1998, Costa Rica introduced a Biodiversity Law which protects not only the variety of animal and plant life in the country but also the genetic and biochemical resources derived from them. In 2010, the country won the Future Policy Award 2010 for their successful approach.

Patricia Madrigal Cordero, Vice-Minister of the Environment, said that the law also shields the intellectual property rights associated with traditional knowledge and practices of indigenous people from commercial exploitation by outside actors.

How, then, has Costa Rica been so successful in protecting its biodiversity whilst maintaining steady economic development and being named the world’s happiest country in a report published by the New Economics Foundation? Silvia Rodriguez-Cervantes from the Ecological Federation of Costa Rica, an NGO, points out that the Biodiversity Law established a new authority to manage the country’s biodiversity resources by combining government ministries with civil society groups. This demonstrates a successful power-sharing agreement between different levels of governance to ensure that no one group has total control over the genetic and biochemical resources of the country.

Policy-makers stand to learn a lot from the Costa Rican model, which incorporates a policy mix of governance-sharing, wealth distribution and protection for minority communities. Three key ingredients for a happy and healthy society.

Secondly, the objectives of the law have been socially inclusive from the outset. With Article 1 of the Law aiming to conserve biodiversity as well as to; “…distribute in an equitable manner the benefits and derived costs”.

With inequalities of wealth increasing across the globe, policy-makers would do well to see the Costa Rican Biodiversity Law not only as a piece of effective environmental legislation, but also as a policy that attempts to share the benefits of increased prosperity more evenly across society. To read in more detail how Costa Rica has achieved these goals visit our Policy Database.

Policy-makers stand to learn a lot from the Costa Rican model, which incorporates a policy mix of governance-sharing, wealth distribution and protection for minority communities. Three key ingredients for a happy and healthy society.

On that note we wish all delegates and participants at the COP13 in Mexico a fruitful and productive conference.

After COP22, Morocco to implement 100% RE

Last Friday, 48 countries committed to “strive to meet 100% domestic renewable energy production as rapidly as possible while working to end energy poverty, protect water and food security, taking into consideration national circumstances”. These 48 countries are among the most vulnerable countries and are united as the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). With their declaration, these countries prove unique leadership at the end of COP22, keeping up to their promise to take action. This is probably the most important outcome of the Climate Conference in Marrakesh.

In 2009, Morocco announced its goal to raise the share of renewable energies to 42% of its total installed capacity by 2020. And during the COP21, the government increased this to 52% by 2030: 20% using solar energy, 20% wind and 12% hydro.

Morocco, the host country of COP22, is one of them. Over the past months and years, the World Future Council has worked with several stakeholders in the country, developing a policy roadmap to transition to 100% Renewable Energy. With last week´s declaration, this roadmap can now serve as a guidance for the new government to go faster and further and walk the talk.

A quick look back

In 2009, Morocco announced its goal to raise the share of renewable energies to 42% of its total installed capacity by 2020. And during the COP21, the government increased this to 52% by 2030: 20 % using solar energy, 20 % wind and 12 % hydro. To reach this goal, the country will develop additional electricity production capacity between 2016 and 2030 of around 10,000MW in renewable energies of which 4,560MW solar, 4,200MW wind and 1,330MW hydro.

These targets are anchored in a three-pronged strategy developed by the government to liberalise and boost the renewable energy sector in Morocco:

  • Legal framework: Renewable Energy is subject of a diversified portfolio of solar, wind and hydro anchored in a legislative framework, notably Law nº 13-09, promulgated in 2010 to liberalise and develop the RE sector in Morocco.
  • Institutional building: the progressive liberalisation of the energy sector has been accompanied by the establishment of institutions to take up the challenges of the energy transition, amongst which: MASEN, ADEREE, SIE, IRESEN.
  • Subsidies reform: in 2013, the government of Morocco announced the reform of fossil fuel subsidies. Since 1st December 2015, the prices of fuels obey the free play of supply and demand. Only the price of butane continues to be subsidised.

cop2_infogr_enPolicy changes resulted in success

The remodelling of the legal, institutional and financial framework has noticeably helped achieved impressive results in the diversified portfolio of renewable energy projects taking place in Morocco. A well-known example is Noor Ouarzazate, the first solar mega-project launched by the Moroccan solar energy agency (MASEN), will reach a total capacity of 580MW by 2018 and will bring power to 1.1 million people (learn more about it here). Or the Tarfaya’s wind park, with a production potential of 1,084GWh/year, is already supplying 1.5 million households and has become Africa’s largest wind energy project. The park has contributed to the creation of new road installations and equipment, and it has become a source of additional income for local communities by means of the business tax, apart from the development of local skills and capacities relating to wind energy.

Indeed, in Morocco renewable energy is not only a very important factor for the environment and the production of goods and services, but a key development vector as the following figures show:

  • Wind projects can save $750 million and 5.6 million tons in emissions a year.
  • Solar projects will save $500 million and 3.7 million tons in emissions a year.
  • The 850MW wind energy project foresees a 70% industrial integration.
  • 13,300 jobs can be created by 2020.

And a closer look to Morocco’s wind and solar projects’ prices highlights the attractiveness of the country’s renewable energy plan. For instance, the country secured bid of Dh 0.72 (US$0.07 cents/Kwh) for the Tarfaya project and in 2016 set a new low for the Integrated Wind Project, securing a price of Dh 0.31 (US$ 0.03 cents/Kwh). This is well below the fuel fossils import price of 0.97 Dh (US$ 0.09 / Kwh) paid during the last ten years. Even for solar projects the price was also much lower than expected by MASEN, at Dh 1,5 (US$ 0.15 cents/KWh) for the first phase of the projects (NoorO I) and at Dh 1.4 (US$ 0.14 / KWh) for NoorO II and NoorO III.

Nevertheless, Morocco must go further and faster

If Morocco wants to solve the following challenges, it needs to go beyond current efforts:

  • Morocco will have to cope with a growing electricity demand that has been increasing at an annual rate of 6.6% in the last 10 years.
  • Climate change will increase its temperatures by 0.5- 1ºC by 2020 and by 1-1.5ºC by 2050 and 2080.
  • The country is currently dependent on fossil fuel. 95% of its consumption is imported, taking 10-12% of its GDP from the national budget.
  • Morocco has to capitalise its renewable energy potential: solar resources are equivalent to 20,000MW and wind potential to 25,000MW.

Because despite the avant-garde energy policy, a number of challenges remain in the way for unleashing Morocco’s incredible renewable energy potential. During round tables and interactive dialogues facilitated by the World Future Council, Moroccan policy-makers, experts and practitioners have identified numerous actions to set Morocco on a path to 100% Renewable Energy, foremost to prioritise renewable sources in the energy system and enable new actors to enter the market – both from a legislative as well as from a capacity perspective. This can only be achieved with a comprehensive approach (see infographic above).

The World Future Council congratulates Morocco for its leadership during COP22 and is committed to support the country in walking the talk.

To learn more about Morocco’s energy situation and potential pathways as well as to explore the proposed actions, read the following report:



A roadmap for 100% RE in Morocco

Morocco, COP22 host country, has since 2009 prioritised renewable energies and energy efficiency. Aware of the nature of the opportunities and stakes confronting its energy landscape, the nation has mobilised to share the message about the urgency and advisability of changing the pathway.

In order to address the complexity, challenges and opportunities of the energy challenge, the World Future Council organised a process of reflection for Moroccan actors playing a leading role in this transition: parliamentarians, political actors, academics and civil society. The round tables and conversations we organised between 2014 and 2016 are reflected in this report. We also highlight solutions for putting into place a coherent political framework which allows the materialisation of a 100% renewable energy Morocco.

48 most vulnerable countries lead the 100% Renewables movement

The energy revolution is happening. The World Future Council applauds the 48 most vulnerable countries who today adopted the strongest declaration for Climate Action to this day. The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) – a coalition of 48 countries from Asia, Africa, Caribbean, the Pacific and South America – declared in Marrakesh that they “strive to meet 100% domestic renewable energy production as rapidly as possible while working to end energy poverty, protect water and food security, taking into consideration national circumstances”.

Cities, communities, citizens and islands have proven that the 100% RE vision is feasible and beneficial. Policy solutions are out there. The next step is an inclusive policy dialogue to a system change.

The Climate Conference in Marrakesh was announced by the Moroccan presidency as “a COP of Action”. And indeed, it is the most vulnerable countries of this planet who keep this promise, making the urgently needed step to go beyond current pathways.

Climate Vulnerable Former-Forum Chair, H.E. Dr. Gemedo Dalle, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said that climate action and decarbonisation is set to boost CVF countries’ economies by creating jobs in the renewable energy sector. With this, developing countries lead the way from talking to action, showing that climate action does not limit development but it strengthens it. Ministers and heads of delegations of member countries convened today for the Forum’s 2016 High Level Meeting at the UN Climate Change Conference at Marrakesh (UNFCCC COP22). The Forum adopted the Marrakech Communique and the Marrakech Vision. The Communique called for greater ambition emphasising that any country with an NDC not yet compliant with its fair share consistent with the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal must update contributions by 2020 at the latest. It also called on honouring commitments, investing in climate finance and the need to transform market place.

“Today’s declaration of 48 national governments to go 100% Renewable Energy signals the urgently needed political leadership. Industrialised countries must follow this example to put the world on track for a just and sustainable energy system for all.” says Stefan Schurig, Director Climate Energy, World Future Council. “The good news is that cities, communities, citizens and islands have proven that the 100% RE vision is feasible and beneficial. Policy solutions are out there. The next step is an inclusive policy dialogue to a system change.”

The World Future Council has been working with several countries of the CVF, including Morocco and Tanzania in the past years in supporting their transition to 100% Renewable Energy.

“We are pioneering the transformation towards 100% renewable energy, but we want other countries to follow in our footsteps in order to evade catastrophic impacts we are experiencing through hurricanes, flooding and droughts.” H.E. Mr. Mattlan Zackhras, Hon. Minister in Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands.

Dipal C. Barua, WFC Councilor from Bangladesh adds: “Bangladesh has shown how renewable energy tackles energy poverty. With today’s commitment to move to 100% Renewable Energy domestically, the government, in coalition with the most vulnerable countries, builds on this success and allows future generations a decent life on this planet.”

Doto Biteko, Chair for Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Minerals, Tanzania “With today’s declaration, Tanzania proves leadership in bringing electricity to all citizens. By visiting other countries, I have learnt in the past months that renewable energy can overcome poverty and improve people’s livelihoods. I therefore welcome Tanzania’s commitment to join the other most vulnerable countries in going to 100% Renewable Energy to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.”

H.E. Mr. Mattlan Zackhras, Hon. Minister in Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands said that this is a turning point in climate leadership and transformation that is bound to secure a safer future for vulnerable communities. Minister Zackhras added: “We are pioneering the transformation towards 100% renewable energy, but we want other countries to follow in our footsteps in order to evade catastrophic impacts we are experiencing through hurricanes, flooding and droughts.”

“We don’t know what countries are still waiting for to move towards net carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy, all parties should start the transition, otherwise we will all suffer.” adds H.E. Mr. Edgar Gutierrez, Hon. Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, highlighting that meeting the 1.5C target requires an immediate sense of urgency from all parties.

International leaders incl. the UNFCCC Secretary General Patricia Espinosa, Former US Vice President Al Gore and European Union Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, welcome the CVF declaration.

“The announcement today by 48 national governments to use renewables to meet all their energy needs demonstrates true commitment to the 1.5 degree target. This commitment can only accelerate the developments we are already seeing both in the market and investment sectors. Renewables are unstoppable!”, says Laura Williamson from REN21.