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24th International Publishing and Book Fair: CNDH celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) will participate, for the seventh consecutive year, in the International Publishing and Book Fair, known in French as Salon International de l’Edition et du Livre (SIEL), to be held from 8 to 18 February 2018 in Casablanca. The Council will dedicate its exhibition this year to the celebration of the 70thanniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

The celebration of the UDHR, which is the foundation of the international human rights law, was launched on the Human Rights Day on 10 December 2017. This anniversary is celebrated all over the world throughout the year 2018. Thus, thousands of events will be organized by governments, NGOs, UN mechanisms and agencies, etc.

As part of this event, the CNDH will devote all its activities to commemorate this event under the theme “Together for Human Rights”.

The CNDH aims to promote the universal values of equality, justice, human dignity and the fight against discrimination provided for by the UDHR. These principles are as relevant today as they were adopted in 1948. Hence, it is a necessity and a common responsibility to defend and promote those principles.

This event is an opportunity to explore new rights, which are not explicitly stated in the UDHR, but they are imposed on the international community nowadays, such as the rights of the elderly, the right to water, as well as business and human rights. It is also an opportunity to address unprecedented challenges of new technologies, bioethics, etc.

The CNDH’s pavilion will schedule five sections: “My Statement”; “New human rights territories”; “Tribute”; “An Article, a Region”; and “The book of the day”.

The first section “My statement” will give the floor to personalities (such as Mesdames Amina Lemrini El Ouahabi, Souhayr Belhassan, Fatima Layachi, Bochra Bel Haj Hmida, Nadia Salah, and Messrs Ali Benmakhlouf, Abdelkader Chaoui, Mohamed-Sghir Janjar, Mustapha Ramid, Michel Forst) to freely comment on an article of the UDHR of her/his choice or to make her/his own reading of the whole Declaration.

The second section “New human rights territories” will shed light on the emerging themes of human rights. It will include the participation of Ministers Mrs. Charafat Afailal on the right to water, and Mrs. Nezha El Ouafi on the environmental rights. This section will also be an opportunity to discuss sexual and reproductive health, sport, personal liberties, culture, etc.

In recognition of the achievements of human rights pioneers in Morocco or in the world, the CNDH will pay tribute to Mr. Mohamed Chafik, former rector of the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture (IRCAM), Najat Mjid, Hany Megally, Mahjoub El Haiba, Albert Sasson, L’Boulvard, etc.

At “The book of the day” section, the CNDH will invite writers and present their recent books, particularly L'idée de Constitution au Maroc: documents et textes by Mr. Mohamed Nabil Mouline, Les fourmis prédatrices, ou l’itinéraire d'un expulsé d'Algérie by Mrs. Fatiha Saidi and Mr. Mohamed Moulay, Dames de fraises, doigts de fée, les invisibles de la migration saisonnière marocaine en Espagne by Mrs. Chadia Arab, La parole et l’action by Mr. Henri Leclerc, Sexualité et célibat au Maroc, pratique et verbalisation by Mrs. Sanaa El Aji, and Un jihad de l’amour by Mr. Mohamed El Bachiri, etc.

The thirteen Regional Human Rights Commissions (CRDHs) will invite their civil society partners from their respective regions to participate in ”An Article, a Region” section. Each CRDH will illustrate one of the UDHR articles through live testimonials on concrete actions related to the chosen article.

Finally, on the side-line of this campaign, three round tables including two are scheduled at breakfast time. Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr. Hatem Essaiem, Commissioner to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and Mr. Mabassa Fall, member of the Steering Committee of the NGO forum to the ACHPR will speak on international criminal justice and the African Human Rights System. The third round table will be devoted to the Center for Saharan Studies.

Covering 340 m², the CNDH pavilion, at the 24th International Publishing and Book Fair- Casablanca, will host more than 50 events and around 200 speakers from Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Mali, Belgium, Egypt, the United States, France, Switzerland and Nigeria.