Greetings from The Optimism Club in Geneva Switzerland, on the eve of the 4th World Congress Against the Death Penalty.
This evening was just a chance to visit the registration desk and collect the pass for the Conference. Security is strict for entry to the United Nations for tomorrow’s keynote opening session. Everything is bilingual here – so for the next three days I am a ‘congressiste’, and hoping to test my recollections of the French language (although the programme is going to be in English for the main part).
A congress newspaper tells me that there is both a wide set of sessions – presentations, roundtables, keynotes, cultural and factual events – and a rich mix of representative organisations here over the next three days. Wonderful to see a balanced geographic mix: speakers from Asia, Africa, Europe and America all have their chance to speak or share information; and of course there is a display area with ‘booths’ for some of the
I’m very much looking forward to hearing from and meeting with people from the campaigning world who all haave the united aim to abolish capital punishment.
Sessions I have my eye on:
- Elaborating arguments to convince public opinion
- Abolitionist States’ advocacy
- Violence, victims and the death penalty
- Law enforcement views on the death penalty
- Online communication strategies
- Mobilizing target groups
- Sessions on Asia, the Middle East and Africa
- and perhaps most intriguingly: ‘Debates with Cartoonists’
Just how much I’ll be able to cover in the time remains to be seen, but I’m excited to see such a packed, varied agenda