Human rights and sustainable development

8 December 2023 from 09:00 to 18:00 CET

You are a CSO, a researcher, an international organization, a public or private sector partner, a development bank, an opinion leader or an activist?
Would you like to identify contemporary issues and challenges in human rights and sustainable development?  
You would like to identify potential actions ? 
Then join us!



On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, join us at the "Human Rights and Sustainable Development" Conference organized by AFD. It will explore how development actors can contribute to the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights, while taking care to move away from an overly anthropocentric approach towards a more ecocentric approach for the benefit of the living world as a whole.  

This conference follows the 2021 conference, which highlighted the ecological emergency in its broadest sense and the links between conventional human rights (economic, social, cultural, civil and political), the right to a healthy environment and the emerging rights of nature, given that the global ecological crisis is having a massive and multidimensional impact on human rights.

During the day, speakers from a variety of backgrounds and rights defenders from the North and South will debate these issues and the challenges they pose for the evolution of development models. 

The conference will be held on 8 December at AFD headquarters, with the option of taking part online. Discussions will be held in French, English and Spanish.

A cocktail reception will be offered from 6.30pm for participants attending in person.


Morning Facilitator : Virginie Lepetit, Courrier International, Editor in chief

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Marie-Hélène Loison, Deputy Executive Director, AFD
  • Delphine Borione, Human Rights Ambassador, French Ministry for Foreign Affairs
  • Marianna Belalba, Head of the Research Cluster on civic space, CIVICUS
  • Nada Al-Nashif, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Jonathan Van Meerbeeck, Head of Human Rights Sector, General Directorate International Partnerships (INTPA), European Commission
10:15 AM - 1:00 PM
Human rights. The state of the world by region. 6 Major witnesses
  • Asia: Jyotsna Mohan, Asia Development Alliance, Regional Coordinator.
    Privatization of agriculture and agribusiness. What human rights impacts for local communities?
  • Latin America: Luz Haro, Network of Rural Women of Latin America and the Caribbean, Executive Secretary.
    Women’s Rights in Rural Areas
  • North Africa and the Middle East: Ayman Mhanna, Samir Kassir Lebanese Foundation, Executive Director.
    Free media, protection of journalists and whistleblowers
  • Sub-Saharan AfricaAndré Franck Ahoyo, General Delegate of the Identity Emergency Africa Fund. 
    Human Rights : between fantasies and realities
  • Eastern Europe: Ksenia Bolchakova, Journalist, Albert Londres Prize Laureate.
    War in Ukraine: humanitarian crisis and regional repercussions on Human rights
  • Western Europe and North AmericaMagali Lafourcade, General Secretary, French National Commission for Human Rights
    Human Rights and Environment Defenders, the shrinking space of civil society

Afternoon Facilitator : Daniel Bastard, Courrier International, Asia Director

2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
From an anthropocentric approach to an ecocentric approach to human rights
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Roundtable 1: Global Ecological Crisis and Human Rights
  • Jérémie Gilbert, Roehampton University, Professor of Law.
    Human rights as a lever of the ecological transition

  • Marine Calmet, Wild Legal, President.
    Rights of nature. History and perspectives
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Roundtable 2: Focus on local projects and initiatives
  • Juan Carlos Losada-Vargas, Representative at the Chamber of Representatives, Congress of the Republic of Colombia.
    The implementation of public policies on the right to a healthy environment. The case of Colombia
  • Eleanor Thompson, Namati, Deputy Director.
    Land Law and Grassroots Legal Empowerment, the example of Sierra Leone
  • David Hembrom, Caritas Bangladesh, Regional Director.
    Implementation of the Free Prior Informed Consent for Indigenous Peoples. The example of Bangladesh
  • Alain Nonouka-Gomat, Ministry of Forest Economics. Chief Engineer of Water and Forests and coordinator of the North Congo Forest Landscape Project.
    The example of the project “forest landscape North-Congo”, Republic of Congo
  • Edgar Mora, Minister of Public Education of Costa Rica Mayor (2018-2019) and Mayor of Curridabat (2007-2018).
    Urbanism, environment and nature, pollinators as new citizens. The case of the city of Curridabat, Costa Rica
  • Ewoule Lobe Estelle, Recipient of the Marianne Initiative for Human Rights Defenders, Secretary General APADIME.
    Internally displaced peoples and environmental migrants, the example of Cameroon
  • Victor David, Research Institute for Development, Researcher about environmental rights and sustainable development.
    A formal recognition of the rights of nature, the example of the Loyauté Islands, New Caledonia
4:45 PM - 5:15 PM
Human rights and accountability of the community of development actors
  • Carol Rask, Danish Institute for Human Rights, Chief Advisor and Team Leader | Human Rights and Sustainable Development - Americas.
    Strengthening the Integration of Human Rights Standards and Principles in Development Co-operation
    “Towards an accountability framework for a human rights-based approach to development”

5:15 PM - 5:45 PM
Speeches by representatives of civil society networks on AFDH
  • Jan Robert Suesser, Coordination Sud, Deputy Director.
  • Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan, Founder and President of the French Human Rights Platform (PDH), Director of Together Against Death Penalty
5:45 PM - 6:30 PM
Conclusion and closing
  • Mavalow Christelle Kalhoule, President Forus International
  • «Words of the future»
    • Zidane Satignon Kuessi, Young leader and human rights defender from Benin
    • Andraina Mahatanasoa, Young leader and human rights defender from Madagascar
  • Thomas Mélonio, Executive Director Innovation, Research, Strategy, AFD


Practical information

The conference will be held at 3, place Louis Armand, Paris, 12th arrondissement.

You can arrive at the reception from 8.30am. Coffee will be served.

Find the access plan below.



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