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HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION AND THE IRANIAN SCHOLARLY COMMUNITY: DIALOGUE AMONG CIVILIZATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS Nasrin Mosaffa Dear Chairperson, distinguished guests, dear participants, ladies and gentlemen: It is indeed a great pleasure for me to participate in this great meeting. May I take this opportunity to thank the organizers of the symposium, especially Carol Corillon for her great cooperation. In this presentation I want to explain about our attempts that have been made jointly by the Faculty of Law and Political Science at University of Tehran and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the framework of a project that is entitled “Strengthening Capacities for Human Rights Research and Training in Iran.” I want to explain its role in raising human rights awareness in the Iranian scholarly community and for 2001 as the year for a dialogue among civilizations. I will focus on human rights education and its relation to peace in the final part of my presentation. Iran has ratified numerous international human rights instruments, including two covenants in civil and political rights and economic, social, and cultural rights, the Convention of Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the Convention of the Status of Refugees, the Genocide Convention, and four conventions of international humanitarian law, the Geneva Conventions. Human rights provisions and Islamic norms are contained in Iran’s constitution, and human rights is also an important topic in national discourse. The subject has increasingly gained priority in the society. President Mohammed Khatami stressed in the completion of the five country economic plan, mass participation of people is the key to realization of political, social, and economic objectives. The UN human rights day in 1997 was launched by UN Secretary Kofi Annan at the Faculty of Law and Political Science at University of Tehran. And in 1998 Iran hosted the annual UN intergovernmental workshop on regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights in Asia and the Pacific. We know that Asia-Pacific is the only continent that had no regional arrangement for human rights. That workshop adopted a technical cooperation program and the project proposal presents such a regional technical cooperation program. The project envisages a program of research and human rights education to be undertaken by the three research institutes of the Faculty of Law and Political Science in the University of Tehran. The faculty is one of the primary educational institutions and in fact University of Tehran is the mother university of Iran and will soon be celebrating its centennial. The proposed project is envisaged as a contribution toward the 50th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights and, among other outputs, will produce a volume of papers on different crucial human rights
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