|Switzerland – Lebanese children’s right to peace education|
|Switzerland – A high quality education for native children|
A “side event”, in technical language), is an event run parallel to the sessions of the Council, in which both Governments and Non Government Organisations which have consultative status in the United Nations, organise the presentation of a topic connected with what is being discussed within the Session of the Council.
Since 2008 the Office of IIMA and VIDES, have been following the line “publicise the positive” by means of the “presentation of examples of good practice”, in other words of the positive experiences for which the IIMA and VIDES have been responsible in various parts of the world. In this way activities aimed at the promotion of the right to education for all and fostering the sharing of technical and specific information among the experts in the field have been made known.
The meeting on 21 September, preceded by a theoretical and practical course on ways of defending human rights aimed at FMA and volunteers taking part was significant on account of the quality of the reports given, for the attentive participation by the representatives of many NGO and for the active presence of experts from the High Commission for Human Rights, from the Committee for Children and also representatives of the permanent Mission present in Geneva, including in particular those of Costa Rica, Venezuela, Panama and Mexico.
Sponsored by the High Commission for Human Rights and the Embassies of Mexico and Costa Rica the meeting opened with an address by Sr. Leonor Salazar, FMA, Director General of VIDES International, who gave the background to the issue of education of native children and the conditions needed to achieve a high quality of education.
She was followed by Maria Clara Martin (representative of the High Commission for Human Rights for the region of America and the Caribbean) who spoke about the situation for the education of native groups in Latin America and the work being done by the FMA among the Mixes, Chinantecas and Zapotecas (Mexico), Yanomami (Venezuela), Enberà, Wounaan, Kuna (Panamà) and the VIDES Volunteer with the BriBri (Costa Rica).
The representatives of the various Embassies concerned responded in each case emphasising the need for a greater commitment on the part of their Governments to obtain a quality education for all. A practical result of the meeting was the fact that this issue of the quality of education for native girls and boys has been placed on the agendas of the Ambassadors present.
In her talk Rosa Maria Ortiz, Vice President of the Committee for Children of the United Nations, spoke of her admiration for the work undertaken by the IIMA and VIDES, and the presence of Archbishop Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See at the UNO contributed to making the event an occasion for discussion and sharing at many levels.