Official Day and Opening of the Caux Forum

On Sunday 8 July, Initiatives of Change opened wide the doors of their Caux Conference Centre in the Swiss mountains. Participants and guests had the opportunity to listen to a speech by Micheline Calmy-Rey, two-time former Swiss President and now university professor, and Swiss Ambassador Claude Altermatt. Read more about the Official Day here. This was followed by the official opening of the fifth annual Caux Forum for Human Security by Ambassador Mohamed Sahnoun. Read Ambassador Sahnoun's opening speech on the subject of conscience and human security.

July 9: Restoring Earth's Degraded Land

A special one-day event co-organized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Restoring Earth’s Degraded Land initiative of Initiative of Change International took place today on the first day of the Caux Forum for Human Security. For a summary of the day's events, see our leaflet and article.

Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, delivered a striking presentation on the zero net land degradation goal adopted at the UNCSD Rio + 20 Conference.

Elizabeth Thompson, Executive Secretary for the Rio + 20, shared her perspective on Rio in Retrospect, providing a snapshot of some of the principal achievements of the conference and Outcome Document. Read more here.

July 10: Inclusive Economics

There was a lively panel discussion, with a flood of questions from the audience, on the theme of ‘Inclusive economics’ and tackling corruption on day three of the Caux Forum for Human Security. Read more details about the morning plenary session here.

July 11: Just Governance

The morning began with a discussion between Bogdan Klich, Senator from Poland and former Minister of National Defence, Steve Killelea, Australia, from the Institute for Economics and Peace, Dr Mustafa Barghouti, General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative and Naw Susanna Hla Hla Soe, Director of the Karen Women's Action Group, Burma (read an article about the Burmese delegation here). They focused primarily on the question What does it take to improve governance in societies undergoing rapid change? Can the elements of just governance be transmitted across cultures? 

That evening, Kevin Rudd, MP, former Prime Minister of Australia, and two aboriginal leaders, Jackie Huggins, Aboriginal spokesperson and historian, and Daryle Rigney, Dean of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement at Flinders University, spoke of the historic apology offered by Rudd in 2008. Read about this moving event here and listen to a podcast of what was shared. 

July 12: Healing Memory

In the morning, three women, Daphrose Ntarataze Barampama, an activist from Burundi/Switzerland (listen here or read her remarks), Jackie Huggins, an Aboriginal Australian spokesperson and historian (listen here), and Janet Jeruto, a lawyer from Kenya, bravely shared their personal stories, focusing on the question of how can the wounds of history be faced and healed, and trust between people and communities rebuilt? Read more about the session here.

One of the afternoon highlights was a change-making session on "Beyond Hate, Building Peace in the Great Lakes," focusing on journeys of healing in Rwanda and Burundi. Read an account of the session here

July 13: Intercultural Dialogue

The morning plenary, featuring a video message from Michelle Bachelet, Head of UN Women, Ratu Meli Vesikula, of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji, Nathalie Chavanne, from Initiatives of Change France (read her remarks here), and Ekuru Aukot, a constitutional lawyer from Kenya, focused on the following question: How can space for dialogue be created that will heighten understanding and respect across cultures?

The afternoon highlight was a presentation on the Creators of Peace initiative, launched as a conference in 1991 and developed into a global movement that seeks to empower women to become peacemakers in their own lives and communities. Read the President of CoP's talk here.

July 14: Looking Ahead

The day began with a plenary session entitled Everyone has a part - what is mine? The panelists were Mosese Waqa, Fiji, Initiatives of Change Human Security Coordinator in Australia, Joseph Karanja, a Kenyan lawyer and refugee advocate and Viktoriya Bryndza, Ukraine, Head of pro.mova expert company. Mosese shared his highly inspirational "Ten principles for transformative change," which you can read here.

July 15: Closing Day

On the final day of the Caux Forum we turned to an exploration of sources of strength that propel us forward in our work to advance human security. The day ended with an exploration of what next steps should be taken by the Forum and the participants themselves. Read an overview of the week's events here.

2012 Caux Forum Photos

We have also provided extensive coverage of the Forum throughout the week on our Facebook page and on Twitter @CauxForumHS - please join us!


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