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World  |  November 01, 2023 15:33:00, updated

Human rights at the center of events organized by the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU

Human rights at the center of events organized by the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU

01.11.2023 / 15:28 | Aktualizováno: 01.11.2023 / 15:33

Human Rights Day, established in honor of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly in 1948, falls every year on December 10, but thematic events with a Czech footprint commemorating the anniversary will take place in Brussels already in the course of the previous month.

Right from the beginning of November, the exhibition "Underground/Human Portrait" will be installed in the premises of the Permanent Representation. The exhibition will ceremonially open with the participation of the author, Rudolf Prekop, on November 9. The intergenerational pictures of the personalities of the independent cultural scene, who were persecuted during the communist regime, were created over a period of seven years and were published last year in a photo book inaugurated in Prague’s Václav Havel Library. At the Brussels’s opening, František “Čuňas” Stárek will comment on the contemporary materials of the exhibition together with MEP Alexandr Vondra who is co-hosting it.

Together with partners, the Permanent Representation also prepares the annual “Václav Havel European Dialogues 2023”. Given the deteriorating geopolitical situation in the EU's neighborhood, urgent questions for discussion by experts and the wider public will include: What more can the EU, its member states and non-governmental organizations do to reverse the trend of democratic backsliding in our neighborhood and worldwide? What should be the red lines in the EU's neighborhood and foreign policy? How to stay true to our values when we need to cooperate with countries that do not always share our view on the importance of human rights and democracy? The answers will be heard on November 13 in the Prague House, which is a partner of the event as well as the Embassy of the Czech Republic in the Kingdom of Belgium, the Czech Center Brussels and the Václav Havel Library.

In the course of the same week as the “Václav Havel European Dialogues 2023”, the Czech and Slovak communities will commemorate the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, precisely on Friday, November 17, in Léopold Park at the Václav Havel bench. The informal meeting is traditionally accompanied by a commemorative lighting of candles, followed by an informal gathering in the building of the Permanent Representation allowing to tour the exhibition Underground/Human Portrait.

Finally, in December itself, the Permanent Representation will organize the so-called Mitterrand breakfast. The concept follows on from the now legendary Prague meeting of then French President Mitterrand with Czechoslovak dissidents, including Václav Havel, in December 1988, perceived as an important and helpful sign of support. Twenty years later, Czech representations around the world established the practice of hosting a similar meeting to support human rights defenders. This year's edition in Brussels will take place on December 8.

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