Faced with the current conflicts that threaten international peace, in L’Alfàs del Pi people from different corners of the world met with the aim of addressing the XXVI edition of REACT, Rapid Expert Assistance and Co-operation Teams, a training program of five weeks on peace processes and conflict prevention, organized by the Helsinki Spain Association, with the aim of improving the capacities of the participants in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, as well as the protection of civilians in armed conflicts and, strengthen the competence and confidence of the members when dealing with risk and/or critical situations effectively, as would happen when working in peacekeeping missions.
With 26 editions of the course behind us, we have had the pleasure of having experts from international organizations, such as the United Nations, European Union, OSCE and NATO, as well as diplomatic military personnel, members of the International Committee of the Red Cross and other NGOs. humanitarian organizations, as well as independent consultants and staff from different international universities.
Until June 26, the program has been developed at the Social Centre Playa del Albir thanks to the collaboration of the Department of Cooperation and Volunteering of the City Council of L’Alfàs del Pi, where six of the seven modules based on training in conflict prevention were included and peacebuilding, international law, protection of civilians, current conflicts and threats to international peace and security, key actors and their contribution to international peace and security, and tools for sustainable peace.
The seventh and final module called HEAT, Hostile Environment Awareness Training, will take place in Los Ángeles de San Rafael, Segovia, from June 27 to July 1, thanks to which students will participate in simulations to learn how to deal with the risks associated and other critical or emergency situations during mission deployment, covering skills and competencies on how to act in the event of kidnapping, hostage taking and encounters with weapons, mines and explosives; going through the acquisition of knowledge on first aid in hostile environments and orientation and communication in the field; to driving an SUV and defending against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons.
In Spain, REACT is the only training course of these characteristics, having trained nearly 500 people throughout its 26 editions. The Helsinki Spain Association has worked under the conviction of the transforming power of education and the need to train people from all kinds of countries and situations in conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict, as the best instrument within our power to contribute to global peacebuilding efforts.
The program “A Europe for the Youth”, sponsored by the Community of Madrid, seeks to raise awareness among university students about the importance of Human Rights in the European Union. Throughout its course a number of youth-focused European programs will be presented, and participants will have the chance to analyze the most significant challenges facing the Union. This initiative is designed for people interested in European affairs, who wish to learn alongside experts and professionals, and share their point of view.
If you would like to better understand the functioning of the European Union, and the role and treatment of Human Rights within it, this is your opportunity. Through this program, you will acquire an enriched perspective about the important role of young people in the European theater.
What is the program about? With a total duration of 6 hours – 4h of conferences, followed by 1h on European programs and another dedicated to a final debate – its goal is to allow participants to better understand the current geopolitical situation in the EU, with a focus on the social risks and challenges posed by the (post-)COVID-19 reality. Moreover, the debate will allow students to interact in groups and freely express their opinion on the topics under discussion, and thus gain a better understanding of the contents presented to them.
The event will take place on Wednesday, 16 of February 2022, from 08:30 till 14:30 in the Escuela de Organización Industrial (Av. de Gregorio del Amo, 6, 28040 Madrid).
Sign up here: ✍️
Today, December 10, is International Human Rights Day, and coinciding with this date from Helsinki Spain we have decided to celebrate the closing of our Project “Youth for Youth” at the School of Industrial Organization, in Madrid.
For this, we have had the presence of some of our volunteers, expert speakers and experts who have made the project training course possible, and the staff of Helsinki Spain. Thus, we have accompanied and applauded the magnificent volunteer work of the young people during the project.
The ceremony began with a few words from María Jaén Barandiarán, President of the organization, and then continued with a brief presentation by the Project Coordinator, Yaryna Vovk, about other active initiatives by the Association with the aim of making them known. After this, we have heard words from Carmen Jordá, speaker Doctor in Public Law, specialized in society, technology and security; Professor at the Camilo José Cela University and head of Prosegur’s Intelligence and Prospective Office. In addition, Marina de Orbe Antón – Pacheco, Director of Education and Volunteering, has read the letter of support for “Jóvenes para Jóvenes” from the Santa Beatriz de Silva center in Madrid and a video with photos and videos of the training and the sessions of this edition and that the volunteers had sent during these past weeks. The closing has continued with the testimony of Victory Collins and Dylan Andrés García, two of the participants in this edition.
Before concluding, we have resolved our “Tik Tok for Human Rights” contest, which was launched about a month ago, giving the prizes to the three winning couples. And, finally, we have delivered the diplomas of participation in the program.
We want to thank all the participants very much for putting their time and effort in “Youth for Youth” that we are fortunate to be able to celebrate year after year thanks to them.
See you in the next call!
On November 16, the “Serge Lazareff” award of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was delivered in Torrejón de Ardoz.
The Alliance recognizes with this distinction the relevant contribution of the awardees to NATO’s legal affairs. Among the awardees, we highlight our President Maria Jaen, the only civilian woman awarded for her contribution to the Alliance’s legal department.
The awards were presented by Andrés Muñoz Mosquera, Director of the Legal Department of the Headquarters Allied Forces Europe (SHAPE).
This award was created in 2017 by NATO in honor of French jurist Serge Lazareff, who was General Eisenhower’s interpreter during his military service as a French Army officer in World War II.
With this award, we recall the importance of civilian collaboration in peacekeeping processes and the promotion of human rights at the international level.
Despite the great advancements in human rights throughout our history, the death penalty continues to be used in some countries as a legal punishment. This punishment is an extreme violation of human rights and a form of discrimination and torture against the people, who are often deprived of a legal process with all the guarantees.
Helsinki España organizes an online conference in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the death penalty and its application in the world. Our lecturers are coming from non-profit organizations with a long history of fighting for the abolition of this type of torture, international law experts, and the testimony of the first Spanish person who got out of death row in the USA.
The conference will take place on 23rd November, from 9:00 hours to 14:00 hours, via Zoom platform. Join us for free and learn by first-hand the situation about the death penalty.
Sign up here! https://forms.gle/Y8TXZZN527NNasrQ9
We are celebrating! December 10 marks International Human Rights Day in remembrance of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly, 73 years ago!
For that reason we launched our contest #JOVENESXJOVENES TIK TOK FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, inviting children, adolescents and volunteers to participate by recording a Tik Tok and filling social media with solidarity messages about Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.
The winners of the contest will be able to collect their prize on December 10 at our closing event of Youth for Youth Madrid 2021.