This page shows a selection of speakers at the Forum. For a full list of speakers please see the individual sessions in the programme.
Věra Jourová is currently European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. Before coming to the European Commission, she was Minister for Regional Development in the Czech Republic. Prior to this, from 2006 to 2013, she worked in her own company as an international consultant on European Union funding, and also was involved in consultancy activities in the Western Balkans relating to the European Union Accession. Věra Jourová holds a Degree in Law (Mgr.) from the Charles University, Prague and a Master's degree (Mgr.) in the Theory of Culture from the Charles University, Prague.
Director of the Fundamental Rights Agency and Chair of the Fundamental Rights Forum
Michael O’Flaherty is FRA’s current Director. Previously, he was Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has also been the Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. In addition, he has held a number of senior UN posts in the field, supported UN headquarters in various human rights programmes, been a Vice-Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Committee and has sat on the advisory boards of numerous human rights groups and journals internationally. His recent publications include volumes on the law and practice of human rights field operations, the professionalization of human rights field work and human rights diplomacy.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is the UN’s first Asian, Muslim and Arab UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. A veteran multilateral diplomat, he was previously Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York and Jordan’s US Ambassador. He has also been President of the UN Security Council and was instrumental in setting up the International Criminal Court. He has extensive knowledge of peacekeeping and developed a strategy for eliminating sexual exploitation and abuse in UN peacekeeping operations. His views is that the Forum is happening at a time when human rights face many challenges across the globe, including in Europe. The exchange at the Forum should help us all to find ways of addressing today's challenges in a way which is human and human rights-based. We need to find the right answers to the drama of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe; to the issues of terrorism and counter-terrorism as well as violent extremism of all sorts; and to the impact of existing policies on various minorities and other groups experiencing social exclusion.
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