André Franck Ahoyo
General Delegate
Identity Emergency Africa

André Franck AHOYO, Franco-Beninese, is a graduated in law and political science from the National Universities of Benin and Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris I). He is currently the General Delegate of the Emergency Identity Africa Fund, an organization dedicated to promoting birth registration in Africa. In 1998, he participated in the creation of the Association for the Unification of Law in Africa (UNIDA). He then accompanied the Organization for the Harmonization in Africa of Business Law (OHADA) as a Consultant for the International Organization of La Francophonie and as Technical Assistant of IFC (World Bank Group) seconded to the OHADA Permanent Secretariat in Yaoundé (Cameroon) from 2009 to 2013. During his professional career, he served in the private sector within the Véolia Environnement group. Since 2019, he is also a lecturer in public law at the Sorbonne Paris Nord University.

Nada Al-Nashif
United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights

Appointed United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2019, Nada Al-Nashif has over 30 years of experience within the UN as an economist and development practitioner. Ms. Al-Nashif served as Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO (Paris), as Regional Director of the International Labour Organization's Regional Office for Arab States (Beirut) and at the United Nations Development Programme in various headquarters and field assignments. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University.

Marianna Belalba
Head of the Research Cluster on civic space

Marianna Belalba leads the Civic Space Research Cluster at CIVICUS, which includes the coordination of the Civicus Monitor, an online tool that tracks civic space developments in 198 countries and territories. She holds a law degree from Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas, Venezuela and an LL.M. in International Human Rights from the University of Notre Dame in the United States.

Ksenia Bolchakova
Journalist, Albert Londres Prize Laureate

Ksenia Bolchakova is French-Russian. Born in Russia, she arrived in France at the age of 3 when her father was transferred. Ksenia was the correspondent of the Russian newspaper Pravda in Paris. After studying journalism at Sciences Po Paris, she moved to Moscow where for 6 years she worked as a correspondent for many news channels and for Arte. Back in France, at the end of 2015, after 4 years with the program “7 to 8”, she joined the Capa agency as a director. She co-directed the film «Wagner, the shadow army of Putin » broadcasted on France 5 which earned her the Albert London Prize in 2022, the FIGRA grand prize and the DIG AWARDS grand prize for investigation. In May 2022, Ksenia directed another documentary for ARTE, "Ukraine, the End of the World", which won the Louise Weiss Prize for European Journalism 2023. In April 2023, her shocking documentary, co-directed with Veronika Dorman, «Russie, un peuple qui marche au pas / Russia, a people that keeps in step», broadcasted on France 5, takes stock of Russian society, one year after the invasion of Ukraine.

Delphine Borione
Human Rights Ambassador
French Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Delphine Borione is the French Ambassador for Human Rights, in charge of the international dimension of the Holocaust, spoliations and the duty of memory.

She has held numerous bilateral and multilateral positions in political, sustainable development and economic, cultural and educational cooperation. Delphine Borione was the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations Organizations in Rome (FAO, WFP and IFAD) from 2017 to 2020. She was previously Senior Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), in charge of social and civil affairs as well as Director of Cultural Policy and French, Ambassador of France to Kosovo, Cultural advisor and head of the Cooperation and Cultural Action Department of the French Embassy in Italy. She worked at the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) where she was in charge of civil administration.

She spent 7 years with the United Nations World Food Programme in Rome. Delphine Borione was also in charge of environmental issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she participated in the negotiation of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992.

Marine Calmet
Wild Legal

Environmental lawyer and spokesperson for the collective “Or de question / No Way” opposed to the «Golden Mountain» and the mining industry in Guyana, Marine Calmet advocates for the rights of nature. One foot in the Amazon and the other in mainland France, she develops new responses to the ecological crisis, inspired by the intelligence of ecosystems and the knowledge of indigenous peoples. At thirty-three years old, she is president of Wild Legal, an association whose mission is to be a school and an incubator for the next lawsuits in defense of the rights of nature. She was an expert for the French Citizen’s Climate Convention, and she fights for the recognition of the crime of ecocide. *
She is the author of the book “Becoming Guardians of Nature” (Ed. Tana 2021), which was awarded with the book prize of the European Institute of Ecology.

Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan
Founder and President of the French Human Rights Platform (PDH), Director of Together Against Death Penalty

Raphaël CHENUIL-HAZAN is the founder and President of the French Human Rights Platform (PDH), a network of 30 French human rights NGOs active internationally. He is the Director General of Together Against Death Penalty since 2009, and is a specialist in advocacy on human rights issues. Raphael Chenuil-Hazan was executive secretary and vice-president of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (from 2009 to 2017). He is Vice-President of Impact-IRAN, a global network on human rights in Iran. Since 2022, he has been an administrator of the Marianne Initiative for Human Rights Defenders. He was co-author in 2021 for the National Council for Development and International Solidarity of the publication "Creating a favorable environment for civil society" that dealt with the shrinking space of civil society in the world.

Victor David
Researcher about environmental rights and sustainable development
Research Institute for Development (IRD)

Doctor in law and social sciences, Victor DAVID is a Research Fellow at the Research Institute for Development. He is currently a Research fellow invited by the Mediterranean Institute of Biodiversity and Ecology in Marseille.
His current research and expertise focus on the evolution of environmental law. He is a recognized specialist of nature rights. Indigenous populations and cultural and legal pluralism also interest him.
Victor DAVID coordinates the CEPIL project of scientific support for the participatory development of the Environmental Code of the Loyalty Islands Province in New Caledonia with the consideration of the Kanak culture based on comparative law studies. CEPIL covers all areas of environmental law (protected areas and species, invasive species, natural resource management, waste, pollution, etc.).
He also supports, as part of the Voluntary Commitments to the UN-Conference on the Oceans, projects of feasibility studies of the recognition of the Pacific Ocean and more recently of the Mediterranean Sea as legal natural entities.
He is a member of the World Commission on Environmental Law of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and an associate researcher at the International Observatory for the Rights of Nature based in Quebec. He is also a member of the Scientific Council of the New Caledonian Biodiversity Agency.

Estelle Ewoule Lobe
Recipient of the Marianne Initiative for Human Rights Defenders, Secretary General APADIME

Estelle Ewoule Lobe is the founder of the association Action for the Protection of Internally Displaced Persons and Environmental Migrants in Africa (APADIME) with which she promotes the rights and education of people in equatorial forests, especially women and young people. It defends communities that preserve their forests by providing them with training and legal support and by implementing income-generating activities. It also fights against environmental crimes and illegal logging and trafficking of protected species in the Congo Basin. In this context, it supports reforestation programs in forest areas severely damaged by illegal exploitation of resources
She is laureate of the 2021 Marianne Initiative.
In her words, her fight aims to “help local communities in the Congo Basin maintain their rights upon their forests, prevent the most vulnerable young people from embarking on illegal immigration, and promote land access and management by women in the region.”

Jérémie Gilbert
Professor of Law
Roehampton University

Jérémie Gilbert is a professor of law at the University of Roehampton in the United Kingdom, he is the author of numerous articles and books on the interaction between human rights, ecological justice and the rights of nature, with a focus on the rights of indigenous peoples. As a legal expert, he has contributed to numerous expert opinions in cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights, and before many national courts in cases concerning the rights of indigenous peoples. As a consultant, he has worked with UN agencies, governments and non-governmental organizations on human rights issues, including the rights of indigenous peoples. He was one of the independent experts invited to the expert seminar on treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between States and indigenous peoples. He also was a consultant for the expert mechanism on the rights of indigenous peoples, as well as for the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and for the United Nations Division for Inclusive Social Development. He recently developed an interdisciplinary network on the study of the rights of nature (https://natureandrights.org/).

Luz Haro
Executive Secretary
Network of Rural Women of Latin America and the Caribbean

Luz Haro Guanga, is an Ecuadorian peasant, founder of various organizational processes, romoter of training schools for rural women leaders. In 2010, she received the Manuela Espejo award, awarded by the Metropolitan District of Quito, for supporting the rurality and driving Training Schools.

She currently serves as Executive Secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Rural Women LAC Network and Principal Member of the Board of Directors of the Ibero-American Network of Municipalities for Gender Equality (RIMIG) leading the axis of Equity of Opportunities in the Rural World and Food Security.

The Network of Rural Women of Latin America and the Caribbean - LAC Network is a social organization founded in Argentina in 1990 and is composed of more than 200 organizations of Rural Women of Latin America. It carries the voice of the nearly 60 million rural women of the Americas. REDLAC aims to promote the effective citizen and political participation of rural women. Therefore, it designed a Political Agenda that elaborated a key proposal to dignify the countryside: the Declaration of the Decade of Rural Women. Various organizations and institutions support the LAC-RED such as UN Regional Women, FAO, WFP and UNDP Gender Area, among others. This proposal from Red LAC came to the Organization of American States - OAS that approved the project of the "Inter-American Decade for the Rights of All Women, Adolescents and Girls in Rural Settings of the Americas" to be developed in the period 2024 - 2034.

David Hembron
Regional Director
Caritas Bangladesh
David Hembrom belongs to ‘Santal’ Bangladeshi indigenous community and has a master in ‘Social Work’. He joined Caritas Bangladesh 20 years ago, as a Program Officer of Integrated Community Development Projects (ICDPs) which focused on the development of Indigenous Peoples (DIP). As the Head of the DIP sector of Caritas Bangladesh he supported community empowerment process. As the Regional Director of Caritas Rajshahi Region since 2022, he now advocates for human rights and justice in favor of the Indigenous Peoples and backward communities. Land retention and development, Cultural, Legal, Educational and Basic rights are the core elements of his field works.
Mavalow Christelle Kalhoule
Forus International

Mavalow Christelle Kalhoule is the president of Forus, the global network of national NGO platforms, Mavalow Christelle Kalhoule, who has wide experience in promoting and supporting the work of civil society, is also President of SPONG, the Burkina Faso national NGO platform. She is engaged in the promotion of individual and collective liberties across West Africa, notably in the Sahel region, where she focuses on the defense of human rights, the protection of women and children, as well as climate justice. She is also Regional Director of Children Believe for West Africa since 2018.

Magali Lafourcade
General Secretary
French National Commission for Human Rights

Magali Lafourcade is a Magistrate and the Secretary General of the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights. She is a graduate from a major business school (ESCP Europe) and Sciences Po, and is a doctor of comparative law. Magali Lafourcade worked as an examining magistrate between 2008 and 2013 and was Deputy Secretary General of the CNCDH between 2013 and 2016 before becoming its Secretary General. She is also a senior expert for the European Agency for Fundamental Rights. Since 2009, she has been a lecturer at Sciences Po. She also leads the continuing education session of judges «Racism in France» provided by the National School of Judiciary. As a Member elected by the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, Magali Lafourcade chaired the Sub-Committee for the Accreditation of National Human Rights Institutions, a body under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Commissioner between 2017 and 2020. She is the author of the reference book “Les droits de l'Homme // Human Rights”, collection “Que sais-je?”, published in 2018 by Presses Universitaires de France.

Marie-Hélène Loison
Deputy Executive Director

Marie-Hélène LOISON has been Deputy Director General of AFD since 2021, after having been Deputy Director of Operations of AFD from 2018 to 2021. She is a graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies and the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. She began her career in 1996 in export finance at Société Générale Paris. In 2000, she joined Proparco, AFD’s subsidiary in charge of private sector financing, to work on structuring financing in the agribusiness, tourism and health sectors. She then joined the private equity division, as an investment manager and then as head of the division in 2008. In 2011, she was appointed Deputy CEO of Proparco. In 2015, she joined AFD as Director Middle East and North Africa and was appointed Deputy Director of Operations in 2018.

Juan Carlos Losada-Vargas
Representative at the Chamber of Representatives
Congress of the Republic of Colombia

Juan Carlos Lozada, as a member of the Chamber of Representatives, defended and approved a bill to ensure that animals have a regulation that protects them from abuse: Law 1774 of 2016. This law also gave rise to the Animal Abuse Task Force of the Office of the Nation’s Attorney General, which is responsible for investigating offences against animals throughout the country. He is also the author of the law 2047 of 2020 which prohibits the use of animals to test cosmetic products. He is also the author of the law 2111 of 2021 which completely reforms the chapter of environmental crimes of the Penal Code to create the crimes of deforestation and wildlife trafficking. This law also criminalized the illegal appropriation of the nation’s property. Juan Carlos Lozada recently also defended and passed a law prohibiting single-use plastics.

He currently defends several bills in the Congress, including the legalization of the recreational use of cannabis, the creation of a mechanism for community participation in extraction projects, traceability of meat, the prohibition of bullfighting, the National Animal Welfare and Protection Code and environmental licences for cemeteries, among other initiatives.

In addition, the representative teaches in his free time yoga and meditation.

Andraina Mahatanasoa
Young leader and human rights defender from Madagascar

Andraina is a 17-year-old Malagasy woman. Currently in her senior year, she is an ambassador for the Miralenta project co-financed by AFD and the European Union. In this context, Andraina carries out with the children’s club of Antsirabe actions of awareness, mobilization and advocacy on the prevention of gender-based violence (including child sexual abuse and exploitation) with young people, communities, state authorities and actors of child protection.
Through this project, ECPAT France and its partners aim to strengthen Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Madagascar and the youth representation bodies so that they are able to challenge state authorities in the fight against violence against women. The Miralenta project implements two main axes: the mobilization of children’s and youth clubs on the issue of violence against girls and the support of community associations or initiatives, including groups of men, to commit against violence against girls.

Thomas Mélonio
Executive Director Innovation, Research, Strategy

Thomas MELONIO is the AFD Executive Director of the Innovation and Research. From 2012 to 2017, he was Deputy Advisor, then Advisor on Africa to the President of the Republic of France. He is an economist with a degree from HEC Paris and a PhD from Sciences Po Paris who published many articles on the financing of education, higher education and international migration.

Ayman Mhanna
Executive Director
Samir Kassir Lebanese Foundation

Ayman Mhanna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Saint Joseph University in Beirut and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Sciences Po Paris. Ayman Mhanna is committed to the defense of freedom of expression in the Middle East. He has been the Executive Director of the Samir Kassir Foundation since 2011. He is also the Director of the SKeyes Centre founded in 2007 by the Samir Kassir Foundation to identify media freedom violations in the region and offer legal and financial support to journalists. Ayman Mhanna was also Executive Director of the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD). He is also involved in numerous NGOs advocating for electoral reform in Lebanon and youth investment in public affairs.

Jyotsna Mohan
Regional Coordinator
Asia Development Alliance

Dr. Jyotsna Mohan holds a Ph.D Degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and has 20+ years of experience in the development sector and academics. She has been working as a Regional Coordinator – Asia, for a regional CSO platform called Asia Development Alliance, past 8 years. She has research expertise on linking development, democracy and human right, development finance, environment and Climate Governance and Voluntary National Review and training and Capacity building on the above mentioned issues She has written and analysed voluntary national review for the Asia Pacific , role of international financial institutions, Climate justice, in the context to policy coherence for sustainable Development (PCSD) governance and accountability with a focus on SDG 16+.

Edgar Mora
Minister of Public Education of Costa Rica Mayor (2018-2019) and Mayor of Curridabat (2007-2018)

Edgar Mora Altamirano is a Costa Rican journalist and politician.

Between 2007 and 2018, he was Mayor of the city of Curridabat, where he led land use planning, urban planning and social development projects in vulnerable communities. He was the head of an innovative project launched in 2015 aiming to turn his city into a more inclusive, innovative, and environmentally friendly place to live. Therefore, Edgar Mora used a holistic, biophilic, and eco-centric approach of urban planning that led the city to recognize pollinators, specifically native bees, as central to the city’s urban design and wellbeing.

Subsequently, the city of 75,000 inhabitants, received the Wellbeing Cities Award in 2020.

Edgar Mora also served as Minister of Public Education from 2018 to 2019.

Alain Nonouka-Gomat
Chief Engineer of Water and Forests and coordinator of the North Congo Forest Landscape Project
Ministry of Forest Economics

Alain André Saturnin Nonouka Gomat is Chief Engineer of Water and Forests and has a professional experience of about forty years. He is currently Coordinator of the Northern Congo Forest Landscape Project, funded by AFD.
He first worked in Congo in the fields of reforestation, forestry management, agroforestry, wildlife management and protected areas.
He then worked in international environmental diplomacy as First Counsellor of the Congo Embassy in Nairobi for 6 years, as Deputy Permanent Representative of Congo to the United Nations Environment Programme and with UN-Habitat.
He holds a Master 2 in Science and Technology, with a specialization in Environmental Management of Ecosystems and Tropical Forests obtained at ENGREF/ AGROPARISTECH/ SUPAGRO (Montpellier, France).
He also holds a Master 1 in Agronomy and Agri-Food obtained at the National Center for Agronomic Studies of the Hot Regions of Montpellier.
He has completed several training and development courses in forestry, afforestation, ecotourism, wildlife and protected areas, environmental and social impact studies in Italy, Japan, Burkina Faso, Canada and France.

Carol Rask
Chief Advisor and Team Leader | Human Rights and Sustainable Development - Americas
Danish Institute for Human Rights

Carol Rask is a Chief Advisor in the Human Rights and Sustainable Development Department at the Danish Institute for Human Rights. She is also the Team Lead on Equality and Non-Discrimination. Carol is a human rights and development expert with over 30 years of practical experience in supporting human rights-based approaches to sustainable development. At the Danish Institute for Human Rights, her work consists of the development of monitoring frameworks and tools, the production of human rights analyses, and the supporting of capacity development on issues related to human rights and sustainable development. She has led the development of the Institute’s work on human rights defenders, including the development of a monitoring framework, the Right to Defend Rights, which is currently being used by national human rights institutions and human rights defender networks in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Carol holds a Masters in Human Rights.

Zidane Satignon Kuessi
Young leader and human rights defender from Benin

Zidane is a 24 years old young leader of Beninese origin, committed to the promotion of youth rights, gender equality and climate justice. After a degree in General and Territorial Administration at the National School of Administration of Benin, he is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Law at the University Paris-Saclay. He is involved in various organizations such as the Youth Parliament of Benin, the National Movement of Girls (MoNaFi) of Benin, the NGO Educ'ECO, the Association for the Promotion of the SDGs, the Major Group of Children and Youth of the UN, and the Youth Plan of the NGO Plan International France.

Jan Robert Suesser
Deputy Director
Coordination Sud

Jan Robert Suesser is Vice-President of Coordination SUD. He represents the Research and Information Centre for Development (CRID) on its Executive Board. He is an officer of the French Human Rights League.
As a member of trade unions or associations, he participated in projects in many countries with a diversity of partners, to build more democratic and inclusive societies through the promotion of the access to rights.

Eleanor Thompson
Deputy Director

Eleanor Thompson is a public interest lawyer who works alongside community-based paralegals at Namati to help communities in Sierra Leone protect their land rights and environment. Among other work at Namati, Eleanor provides direct legal assistance to communities during lease negotiations with investors. Eleanor has worked extensively on human rights, the rule of law, and justice at national, regional, and global levels for over 15 years. She influenced positive law reform in Sierra Leone by co-drafting the Customary Land Rights Bill and National Land Commission Bill, creating more equitable and democratic frameworks for decision-making on land. Eleanor is passionate about supporting people to utilize their power to protect their rights, hold their leaders accountable, and shape the laws that affect them.

Jonathan Van Meerbeeck
Head of Human Rights Sector
General Directorate International Partnerships (INTPA), European Commission

Jonathan Van Meerbeeck is Team Leader for Human rights in the European Commission Directorate General for International Partnerships. His portfolio includes the management of the NDICI-Global Europe Thematic Programme on Human Rights and Democracy, support to civil society and mainstreaming of human rights in EU cooperation. His previous experience in the Commission includes relations with the African Union and the coordination of regional programmes in Africa in fields such as human rights, science and technology and regional integration, and a posting to the EU Delegation to Paraguay. Prior to joining the Commission, Jonathan worked as a migration expert for the International Centre on Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).


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