Jul 09, 2019

UNPO Conducts Successful Advocacy Training for Unrepresented Peoples in Catalunya

UNPO welcomes the positive outcome of its first advocacy training in collaboration with Catalan activists in Barcelona and thanks participants for their enthusiasm and fruitful exchange of views. 

Last weekend, on Saturday July 6th and Sunday July 7th, the UNPO and the Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC) jointly organized an “International Advocacy Training” for members of the ANC’s Foreign Assemblies. As one of the UNPO’s most recent members (December 2018), this event aimed at improving the working knowledge and capabilities of the ANC’s international network in the field of advocacy and at providing a valuable forum to connect with peers. The training was held at the ANC Headquarters in Barcelona and saw the participation of ANC practitioners from more than 13 countries in Europe, USA and Latin America.

This was an important meeting with regard to developing the UNPO advocacy toolkit and exchanging views as to how to proceed with non-violent activism, as well as to strengthening the ANC's international network.

Facilitated by UNPO’s own Lucia Parrucci (Advocacy and Training Coordinator), the training featured long-time UNPO collaborators and experts in the field of advocacy. Amongst them Fiona McConnell, an Associate Professor in Human Geography and Tutorial Fellow at St Catherine’s College at Oxford University, Hanno Schedler, Advisor on Genocide Prevention and Responsibility to Protect at the “Society for Threatened Peoples" and Alice Monicat, General Coordinator of the Aix Global Justice Programme at Aix-Marseille University. Csaba Sogor, who has served for 12 years as MEP for the European People’s Party and is a fervent promoter of minority rights, was also present to share his insights on advocacy at the EU level. Moreover, speakers from two other UNPO member organizations were invited to talk about their personal advocacy experiences and briefed participants on UN bodies: Peter Irwin, Spokesperson and Programme Manager for the World Uyghur Congress, and Krishna Chakma, Founder and Managing Director of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Foundation. 

The training included elements of both national and international advocacy, on the EU and the UN level, and was mainly based on the “UN Advocacy Training Pack”. This tailor-made manual was developed by the UNPO together with the University of Oxford and the Tibet Justice Centre as part of the “Unrepresented Diplomats” Programme, aimed at empowering unrepresented people around the world to engage in national, regional and international advocacy. The closing remarks were delivered by Elisenda Paluzie, President of the Assemblea Nacional Catalana, who thanked the UNPO and ANC International for the remarkable outcome of the training and emphasised the role of ANC Foreign Assemblies in internationalizing Catalan activism.