Monday, May 11 at 22:20

“War situations in peace: The defense of Human Rights"

Geopolitical aspects of human rights: culture – borders – globalization

Dr. Angelika Köster-Lossack worked in the Bundestag (german parlament) as a politician of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen coalition for eight years. During this time, she participated in different commissions of Human Rights, which made possible her broad knowledge about geopolitical aspects and world conflicts. She studied indology, anthropology and sociology in the Heidelberg University, where later started teaching. The University of Maryland and the College of Social Work in Mannheim had also received her lectures. She has been interested in India and its surrounded countries for the last 45 years, being a member of the German-Indian Society (Department of Heidelberg). With examples of her own experiences and life, she held a lecture where she developed a global and political view of the violations of Human Rights.

She started with a review of own-experienced cases of violation of Human Rights in political aspects, such as the Genocide in Rwanda, the conflict in former Yugoslavia, the conflict in Chechnya, the East Timor independence process, the Oslo process between Israel and Palestine, the negotiations in Sri Lanka, the Cambodia’s massacre, the internal problematic in Pakistan, the war in Afghanistan and the Tibetans autonomy vindications.

Although no issue was treated with a deep analysis on account of time reasons, it was possible to formulate a panoramic perspective of what has been going on around us and how it has been reflected in our society. For instance, the people in Cambodia, ten years after the massacre, still weren’t able to regain their happiness. Another example of this constitutes the blindness of the Pakistan government regarding basic needs of their population, which forced people to find their own solutions: the region of Pashtun was so poor that parents sent their children to madrassas, where some of them were taught in violent ways. With this, she wanted to point out that “also in peace, people can have war situations and Human Rights violations”.

“Human Rights will not play a role if there are economical interests, geopolitical interests or political closeness” she affirmed and added that, unfortunately, no implementation of Human Rights can be possible until people overcome their own prejudices. Entire ideologies like racism and apartheid were created from prejudices, so how can be Human Rights guaranteed in these contexts? What happen with the whole concept where Human Rights come (each person’s respect and well-being)? As she mentioned, is everyone’s duty to analyze and contemplate what’s going on, being able to unblock our minds.

Other important topics were borders and globalization. The first one constitutes control lines, which serve as planned inequality among one population over another. USA and Mexico, Israel and Jordanian, Gaza and Egypt constitute cleared examples. Human Rights cannot be limited with unfair reasons such as a passport’s nationality. The second issue, globalization – as she explained – is nothing new. The only adjustment and advance is its technological way. She said that people still carry with them their “postcolonial baggage”, where the thoughts of colonized and colonizers persist.

The lecture ended with the gratitude of all the participants and an interesting round of questions. Figures such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King were mentioned as examples of fighters for Human Rights and models of equality. With their final mention, Dr. Köster-Lossack gave the audience a tangible pattern to follow. §


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