Newsletter - October 2022
MIGS became the first Canadian official supporter of The Copenhagen Pledge on Tech for Democracy, a Danish-led initiative that brings together representatives from governments, multilateral organizations, tech industry and civil society to make technology work for democracy and human rights, not against them. MIGS’ Executive Director participated in a UN General Assembly side event organized by Microsoft, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Access Now, titled “Tech for Democracy: Problems, Progress and the Copenhagen Pledge”.
MIGS will host the third meeting of The Global Parliamentary Alliance Against Atrocity Crimes (GPAAAC) on 19th October. The meeting will focus on “Sanctions and Accountability” and will bring together experts, civil society members and parliamentarians to discuss the wide-ranging diplomatic and economic sanctions against Russia. MIGS also published the summary of the second Meeting of the GPAAAC titled “Unpacking Atrocity Crimes in Ukraine". Finally, Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes published the article “Parliamentarians ally to respond to atrocity crimes in Ukraine” that summarizes the initiative.
Along with close to 500 civil society organizations from 92 countries around the world, MIGS signed an open letter to the Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in advance of the annual Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security. You can read the open letter here.
MIGS is one of the signatories that joined Human Rights Watch in calling for states to support the resolution being presented at the UN Human Rights Council that is requesting a debate on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ recent report on the situation in Xinjiang.
Marie Lamensch will be a panelist at an online event titled “Les révoltes iraniennes”organized by the Chaire Raoul Dandurand at UQAM.
Kyle Matthews will participate in the OSCE’s Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media upcoming workshop on content governance in crises.
MIGS’ staff will attend “Halting hate: A bottom-up approach to understanding and fighting hate speech in the Asia Pacific” hosted by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes.
MIGS is hosting a virtual book launch with award-winning Wall Street Journal journalists Josh Chin and Liza Lin to discuss their book “Surveillance State Inside China’s Quest to Launch a New Era of Social Control”. Please, register here to attend.
Marie Lamensch will present the work of the GPAAAC at the 2022 Danyliw Research Seminar on Contemporary Ukraine organized by the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa.
MIGS Fellow Joana Cook will participate in an event organized by Women in International Security Netherlands titled “Homecoming: Integrating women and children of ISIS”.
MIGS’ staff will attend a workshop on “Global Governance of Online Harms” organized by the Centre for media, technology and Democracy at McGill University, and the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies.
MIGS is hosting “Résilience et Confiance: Une Discussion pour la Journée de la citoyenneté numérique”, an event organized in partnership with HabiloMedias, CQÉMI, Agence Science-Presse and La Science d'Abord. Speakers include Pascal Lapointe (editor-in-chief, Agence Science-Presse), Ève Beaudin (journalist, Agence Science-Presse), and Tristan Péloquin (journaliste, La Presse). You can register for the event here.
MIGS will participate in the 4th Annual NGO Community Fair at Concordia University.
Marie Lamensch participated in a book talk with Bill Browder organized by the Carnegie Council.
MIGS Fellow Joana Cook attended the 4th Tafahum Annual Conference Enhancing Multi-Track Dialogue and Cooperation in West Asia and the Arabian Peninsula.
As part of the Global Parliamentary Alliance Against Atrocity Crimes, MIGS interviewed Ukraine journalist Iryna Matviyishyn about the ongoing war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. Listen to the podcast episode here.
Joana Cook participated in a roundtable discussion on children of Islamist and far-right violent extremist families hosted by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism.
MIGS hosted the second meeting of GPAAAC. “Unpacking Atrocity Crimes in Ukraine''which featured guest speakers Lloyd Axworthy (Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada), Lt-Gen. Roméo Dallaire (Lt-Gn (ret), Former Senator and Distinguished Senior Fellow at MIGS), Alice Stollmeyer (Founder & Executive Director of Defend Democracy), Anya Neistat (Legal Director, The Docket Initiative, Clooney Foundation for Justice), Sergey Lagodinsky (German Member of the European Parliament), Tanya Lokshina (Associate Director, Europe and Central Asia division, Human Rights Watch) and Dr. Frank Chalk (Co-founder and Director of Research, MIGS). Read the summary of the second meeting here.
MIGS Fellows Andrei Serbin Point and Naomi Kikoler participated in the annual meeting of the Global Network of R2P Focal Points which was held at the office of the Organization of American States . Over 35 governments from around the world, together with the European Union and civil society organizations met to discuss the effective implementation of R2P.
Marie Lamensch participated in consultation meetings titled “Threats posed by misuse of unmanned aerial systems by terrorists” organized by UN Counter-Terrorism Committee, and the Committee's Executive Directorate.
As part of the GPAAAC initiative, MIGS hosted a Twitter Spaces on “Using OSINT to Investigate War Crimes in Ukraine” featuring Nick Waters (Open Source Analyst, Bellingcat), Hannah Bagdasar (Investigator, Bellingcat), and Dearbhla Minogue (Legal Officer with the Global Legal Action Network). You can listen to it here.
Marie Lamensch attended a virtual discussion tilted “Russia's Actions in Ukraine and the Crime of Genocide” organized by the United States Institute of Peace. Marie also attended a series of workshops titled Les États-Unis à l’UQAM organized by the Rectorate in partnership with the U.S. Consulate General Montreal and the Service des relations internationales et diplomatiques.
Lauren Salim virtually attended “Upholding Democracy and Human Rights in the Face of Rising Disinformation” hosted by the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN and the Kingdom of the Netherlands at the United Nations General Assembly.
Kyle Matthews attended Foreign Policy Magazine and the Open Society Foundation’s UNGA side event “Ukraine- A Test of the Multilateral System”.
MIGS staff met with Christine Seifert, Project Manager at the Berghof Foundation, to discuss our respective projects on the war in Ukraine. MIGS staff also met with Miriam Schirmer, Deputy Chair at Genocide Alert, to discuss future collaborations.
As part of the 51st Regular Session of Human Rights Council, MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab delivered an oral submission on the situation in Ethiopia and on the situation in Syria.
Marie Lamensch attended the opening of the exhibition Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94)organized by the Chaire Raoul Dandurand at UQAM.
Kyle Matthews attended the U.S. State Department Strong Cities Network’s UNGA side event “City-led Action in Preventing Violent Extremism, Hate and Polarisation”, which featured Eric Rosand (Executive Director, Central Management Unit at the Strong Cities Network), Jesper Penderson (Deputy Head, Global Threats Unit at Foreign Policy Instruments, European Commission) and Emmanuel Mouaya Pouyi (Head, Training and Equipment Unit at the Africa Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism).
MIGS’ staff participated in the fourth meeting of the Principles of Peace Stakeholder Platform.
MIGS hosted the Canadian International Council for the event “Roots of Putin’s War on Ukraine and the Road Ahead with Paule Robitaille”.
Kyle Matthews and Marie Lamensch had a virtual meeting with Janine Di Giovani, the co-Director and co-Founder of The Reckoning Project to discuss our respective work on the war in Ukraine and future collaborations between our two organizations.
Kyle Matthews and Marie Lamensch also attended the Reception for German Unity Day organized by the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Montreal.
Lauren Salim attended the Hub for the Study of Hybrid Communication in Peacebuilding event on communicative peacebuilding focusing on the work undertaken to support the holding of peaceful elections in Kenya in August 2022.
Lauren Salim attended PEN International’s 88th Congress The Power of Words online event.
MIGS Fellow Naomi Kikoler participated in the event “Impunity in Myanmar, Five year after genocide”. The panel discussion co-organized by the U.S. Holocaust Museum, the Global Justice Center and the Government of Canada also featured Bob Rae, Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the U.N..
MIGS’ Executive Director Kyle Matthews and Project Coordinator Marie Lamensch participated in the conference “How Can We Reverse Democratic Backsliding?”, which was organized by the Renewing our Democratic Alliance Network (RODA), Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Canada and the Canadian International Council, in partnership with Toronto Metropolitan University.
MIGS’ Project Officer Breanna Cera Emard attended the Ottawa University Germain-Brière Conference 2022.
MIGS’ staff met with the Deputy Director of the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program at Global Affairs Canada to discuss the Global Parliamentary Alliance Against Atrocity Crimes.
MIGS’ Executive Director Kyle Matthews presented the GPAAAC initiative at the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes’ Steering Group meeting.
In the Media
Dr. Ewelina U. Ochab wrote a briefing for the Newlines Institute titled “The Need to Establish a U.N. Mechanism for Evidence Gathering in Xinjiang”.
MIGS Fellow Phil Gurski published a new podcast episode titled “Does Canada need a ‘terrorism’ offence?”
Lauren Salim wrote an article for the Human Rights Research Center titled “A Human Rights-Based Approach to Relocation After Ecological Disasters”.
Marie Lamensch wrote an article for CIGI titled “In Brazil, “Techno Authoritarianism” Rears Its Head”.
Kyle Matthews spoke to CTV New Montreal about the rise of hate speech targeting Quebec politicians and what it means for democracy.
Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “New Mass Graves Found In Ukraine As Putin’s Atrocities Continue”.
Andrei Serbin Pont was quoted in the article “Russia-Ukraine War: 5 facts you need to know about the conflict”.
Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “U.N. Commission Of Inquiry on Ukraine: War Crimes Were Committed In Ukraine”.
Ewelina Ochab spoke to BBC World News about the findings of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine.
Ewelina Ochab published an article for Forbes titled “Yet Another Attack On The Hazara In Afghanistan”.
Ewelina Ochab wrote an article for Forbes titled “International Community Is Failing The Uyghurs But A Change May Be Ahead”.
MIGS Fellow Mark Kersten wrote an article for Al Jazeera titled “Justice for war crimes in Ukraine must not be delayed”.