10 september 2020

— UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned Wednesday in a video message on the International Day to Protect Education from Attack that attacks on education are helping drive recruitment of children into armed groups. Guterres said in part, “Too often, the right to education falls under attack, especially in conflict-affected areas, where entire populations can be denied learning. Violence against education can take various forms, targeting education facilities, students, teachers and education personnel. … The United Nations is working to prevent violent extremism through education. We are helping young people rise above radical messages to build more peaceful societies. By giving them more autonomy and raising awareness of human rights, we are building the foundations of durable peace.”

— The United Nations is set to host the 2020 International Day of Peace on September 17: “Organized under the theme ‘Shaping Peace Together,’ activities this year will include the annual Peace Bell Ceremony and global student conference. The student conference will begin at 10 a.m. with a statement by Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department for Global Communications, and remarks by Messengers of Peace, including Princess Haya, Paulo Coelho, Jane Goodall, Yo-Yo Ma and Midori.”

— A coalition of 321 civil society groups from more than 60 countries is calling on the UN to address human rights violations by China. Signatories of an open letter “stressed the need to address rampant human rights violations across China, including in Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang. They also highlighted the impact of China’s rights violations worldwide, including the targeting of human rights defenders; global censorship and surveillance; and rights-free development that has caused environmental degradation.”

— The Trust Fund for Victims at the International Criminal Court “deplores the recent United States sanctions imposed on two ICC officials, which may thwart the rights of victims to receive justice and reparations for the harm they suffered.” The Trust Fund for Victims says “reparative justice for victims of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community is dependent on the ability of the ICC to hold perpetrators of these crimes accountable.”

— Petr Boháček of Prague’s Charles University, a representative of Democracy Without Borders, will be among the speakers at the H21 Symposium on Democracy on Saturday.

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