International Conference on "Human Rights and Duties: Supporting Biological Integrity for Public Health"

01 August 2011 | News story

The International Conference on “Human Rights and Duties: Supporting Biological Integrity for Public Health” took place from July 11-16 at the first Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University in the city of Prague. The organizers of this event were Prof. Laura Westra, member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, Prof. Colin Soskolne and Prof. Vladimir Bencko.  

Prior to the event, Prof. Klaus Bosselmann led a Discussion on Earth Democracy which was followed by a reception dinner at the Academic Club Faust's House. On the next day, Prof. Tomas Zima, Dean of the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University of Prague; Prof. Michel Vit, Chief Public Health Officer of Ministry of Health in Prague; Prof Laura Westra and Prof Vladimir Bencko delivered their welcoming remarks.

The event provided sessions on Global Governance, where speakers like Ms. Sheila Abed, Mr. Bradford Morse and Mr. Paulo Maghãles delivered interesting presentations on issues such as “Environmental Rights and Indigenous Rights: Opposed or Complementary?”; “Treaty Protection of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge of Flora, Fauna to Augment the Convention on Biological Diversity” and “Earth Condominium” Health Break. Other sessions on Global Governance included discussions on “A Short Account of the Long History of Sustainability”; “Institutional Reform of the UN and the Challenge of Earth Democracy”, which was delivered by Prof. Bosselman and “Between Theoretical Possibilities and Practical Realities: Can Sustainability Deliver in Addressing the North-South Divide?” discussion.

The Session on Ecological Integrity and Public Health was chaired by Mr. Colin Soskolne and covered issues such as “Less Energy, Better Health?”, “Leopold‟s Concept of Land Health: Implications for Sound Public Health Policy” and “Outgrowing Anthropocentrism: New Directions in Health Care Ethics in an Ecologically Unstable World”.

The event included other sessions on issues such as Ecosystem Services and State Responsibility; International Law and the Common Heritage Principle: Climate Change and Human Health; Issues in Public Health; Environmental and Public Health; Global Governance and Water Issues; Ecological Integrity and Animal Rights Issues and Climate Change: Legal and Ethical Issues. General discussions of the event were summed-up with a final round table on the last day in which Mr. Don Brown (Rapporteur), Prof. Klaus Bosselmann, Mr. Ron Engel, Mr. Colin Soskolne and Prof. Laura Westra led the group into effective and successful outcomes.