SAVE THE DATE: THE 28TH INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN & SECURITY CONFERENCE: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Seventy-Five Years On: Achievements and Current Challenges







21-22 NOVEMBER 2023



Register here!

The International Relations Program at Webster University Geneva is pleased to announce that its 28th Annual International Humanitarian and Security Conference (IHSC) will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday 21-22 November 2023 at the International Conference Centre Geneva (CICG) located at 17 Rue de Varembé. The title of this year’s conference will be “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Seventy-Five Years On: Achievements and Current Challenges.”

2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. Following this historic act, the United Nations called on its member states to disseminate, advocate and practice the rights and principles expounded in the thirty articles of the UDHR. The UDHR stems in large part from the United Nations Charter adopted in 1945, which affirms that people all over the world should enjoy fundamental human rights and live in peace and dignity without fear of discrimination and violence. Since its adoption, the UDHR has served as an important source of inspiration, and an important basis for key initiatives and the adoption of major international human rights instruments and treaties. Among the many are the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms Discrimination Against Women (1979) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Although progress has been achieved on many fronts over the past seven decades, human rights continue to be violated in many countries throughout the world and many new challenges to human rights have emerged in recent years in our ever-changing world

The conference will aim to take stock of what has been achieved to date and where the current and emerging challenges to human rights lie in the contemporary world. Today, as was the case during the Cold War era (1945-1991), new rifts have once again come to the fore in terms of how different governments view and interpret human rights. While many countries prioritize civil and political rights, others emphasize social and economic rights. Recent conflicts and international tensions have exacerbated the situation, leading once again to the increasing politicization of the human rights issues. Furthermore, wars and economic deprivation have forced millions refugees and migrants to leave their countries, often illegally crossing international frontiers and exposing them to danger and abuse. Environmental degradation and climate change, particularly in the Global South now pose a whole host questions and challenges regarding human rights as the recent case involving Vanuatu has clearly demonstrated. In addition, powerful multinational corporations, their global reach and their poor treatment of workers still constitutes an important problem. Finally, the rapid introduction of new technologies and most notably artificial intelligence are raising major questions about their impact on human rights. In fact, these new advances are a double-edged sword since they are frequently used by governments which have authoritarian tendencies to identify and target political and human rights activists in an effort to reduce or eliminate civic space and civil society.


The 2023 conference will consist of keynote speeches on both days and six panels that will cover the following topics:

1) The UDHR: A Source of Inspiration for International & Domestic Human Rights Protection

2) Differing Interpretations & the Politicization of Human Rights

3) Emerging Challenges to Human Rights: Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence & Civic Space

4) Human Rights & Environmental/Climatic Changes: Migration, Refugee Flows & Human Trafficking

5) Human Rights, Business & Corporations

6) International Justice & Addressing Gross Human Rights Violations & Crimes

As has been the case over the past twenty-seven years, the 28th IHSC will be organized with the support and under the auspices of the Government of the Canton and Republic of Geneva, and in cooperation with key international organizations and institutions, and the student-led NGO, the Webster Humanitarian Association (WHA). This event will be in a hybrid format, open to the public and free-of-charge. Participants will be encouraged to register in advance on the Webster University Geneva website in due course. For further information, please contact Dr. Jubin Goodarzi, Acting Director of the International Relations Program at Webster University Geneva, via email at or by telephone at 022 959 8027.

Register here!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Event Type

Global Campuses, Geneva

Webster Geneva Campus
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