WFUNA Holds Successful Dag Hammarskjold Symposium in Venezuela

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations.
Dag Hammarskjold Symposium in Venezuela
Bonian Golmohammadi, WFUNA Secretary-General, is interviewed with Erly Munoz of UNA-Venezuela
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WFUNA held their third Dag Hammarskjold Symposium reflecting on the norm of Responsibility to Protect in Caracas, Venezuela on Tuesday, 28 February, in conjunction with UNA-Venezuela and the Embassy of Sweden in Bogota, Colombia, responsible for Venezuela. Over 90 guests from NGOs, the Venezuelan academic community, and government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated in the symposium. Many embassies were also represented, including Russia and the United Kingdom. WFUNA also had youth members from UNAs in Colombia and Mexico participate in the symposium.

Bonian Golmohammadi, Secretary-General of WFUNA, gave the opening remarks, followed by Mr. Jose Mendoza, Honorary Consul for Sweden representing the Embassy of Sweden, who reflected on the life of Dag Hammarskjold, the second Secretary-General of the United Nations. Laura Spano, WFUNA Responsibility to Protect Program Officer, then gave the keynote lecture on "What is R2P?"

The symposium provided a forum for discussing the norm of Responsibility to Protect. Several panels elaborted on the many points of R2P: Panel 1 included Jo-ann Pena, University of Andres Professor specialising in sovereignty, and Laura Spano. The second panel featured Omar Hernandez, Advisor to UNA-Venezuela, and human rights advocate Robert Zuber from the Global Action to Prevent War. The last panel included Mr. Zuber, Mr. Hernandez, and Luis Boggerio, Secretary-General of UNA-Venezuela, as they considered what Dag Hammarskjold would think of the conversations surrounding R2P.

While at the start of the day many individuals in the room spoke of never hearing the norm, by the end of the day individuals were participating in the discussion on how the UN, and they as members of civil society, could be involved in the prevention of mass atrocities at the end of the symposium. The day concluded with the opinion that awareness needs to be raised on the norm, and that there should be more open dialogue.

WFUNA and UNA-Venezuela made it in the Venezuelan news - check out the article, video and voice recording

Local participating civil society, FUNDEPRO and Turn Around report on the event.

International NGO - Global Action to Prevent War writes a summary on the event. 

Photo Gallery - Dag Hammarskjold Symposium, Caracas, Venezuela
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