The Second Planning Committee Meeting
The Second Planning Committee meeting was held at 2 PM on 26 July at the Gwangju Metropolitan City Hall, as the first face-to-face meeting since the pandemic. On this occasion, 11 of the Planning Committee members, made up of Korean human rights experts, as well as other local officials, gathered and discussed the main agendas for the preparation of the 12th World Human Rights Cities Forum.
At first, Mr. KIM Taehyeong, Director of the WHRCF Secretariat, briefly reported on the Forum's basic plan and the preparation progress. This was followed by detailed discussions about the composition of the Forum’s official events. In particular, this year's Round Table keynote presentation will aim to reinterpret the climate crisis from the aspect of human rights, while in the discussions that follow, different response methods to the climate crisis by various stakeholders, including youth, are expected to be debated on.
In addition, it was emphasized that not only the developed countries that are taking the lead in responding to the climate crisis, but also the developing countries that are suffering a great damage due to it, are to be invited to share and listen to various stories. Therefore, the Round Table panel will include diverse invitees, following careful consideration and further consultation about the balanced representation of generations and countries.
Meanwhile, as this year’s Forum will be the first time following the pandemic with overseas invitees coming to the venue in person, a delegation of international Mayors, consisting of city Mayors and officials from all around the world, is also expected to visit Gwangju. Accordingly, the Planning Committee suggested providing an opportunity to share climate crisis response policies and case studies of each attending city from the delegation. Furthermore, numerous ways of creating positive solidarity among the cities were discussed.
Moreover, as the theme of the Forum this year includes the climate crisis, an important opinion about the necessity to focus on the eco-friendly operation of events was also mentioned. Thus, the WHRCF Secretariat plans to actively promote various ways of eco-friendly participation in the event, some of which include reducing printed materials and prohibiting the use of single use items, both to the co-organizers and the attendees.
Also, the selection process of the next year Forum’s theme has been changed so that the citizens' opinions can be reflected in the decision process. Namely, this year’s Forum participants will be able to directly review and vote on pre-selected themes at the event venue and through the Forum website.
The meeting was brought to a close with the Planning Committee Chairperson, Mr. KIM Jung-sup’s words of encouragement: “This year’s Forum is a face-to-face event being held after a long time, so let us spur all preparations and do our best to hold a safe, human rights-focused, and eco-friendly Forum”.
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