Human Rights in the 21st Century

Covid and global vaccine solidarity

online roundtable, 14. 10. 2021 at 17:00

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, liberals has been on the frontline calling for the measures to combat the consequences of the pandemic are fair, democratic and respectful of human rights.

Following the development of effective vaccines against the virus, significantly supported by public funds, there remains to be extreme concern by the distribution plans and inaccessibility of the vaccines to the developing world.

This pandemic transgresses national borders and will only be finally resolved when vaccines are accessible to the whole world. And for these vaccines to be effective, the deployment should be proportionally fast to all the regions of the world.

Cooperation among companies in production of COVID vaccines cannot just be a commercial goal but a public safety must. Instead of country-based protectionism and nationalism, there is a need for greater investment in production and global distribution, especially by those countries and industries that have the means.

Event schedule

Online registration
Welcome address

Marco Mariani | European Liberal Forum

Sebastjan Pikl | Institute Novum

Opening keynote

Dr Hakima El Haite | President, Liberal International

17:20 – 19:00
Panel session: “Covid19 and global vaccine solidarity

Mu Sochua | former Minister of Women Affairs, Board member, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, Cambodia

Jasmina Mršo | Deputy Secretary General of LIBSEEN, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jean-Jacques Flahaux | President, Mouvement Réformateur International, Member of Federal Parliament (2014-2019), Belgium

Fabio Osterman | Member of the State Legislation of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Moderator: Emil Kirjas, founder, Kirjas Global


Marco Mariani | Board member ELF, Fondazione Luigi Einaudi

Marco Mariani graduated in “Law”, in “Political Science”, in “Administration Sciences” and in “Social sciences for non-profit organizations and international cooperation” with full marks. Furthermore, he attended post graduate courses at many other universities (Bocconi, Luiss, La Sapienza, European University Institute). He was researcher at the “Centro Nazionale di Studi e Ricerche sulle Autonomie Locali” and visiting lecturer at the University of Florence. Currently he is lecturer of “Public utilities law” in the e-Campus telematic University.
He is a founding partner of Catte Mariani law firm, based in Florence and Rome. He is licensed to practice before the higher courts, and he mainly deals with issues concerning Public utilities law and public procurement, administrative law, law and economics.
He is the author of numerous publications (including two monographs and 23 anthologies) on the matters of Public utilities law, Local authorities law, Administrative law, Public procurements law, Planning law, Bankruptcy law, Consumers law, Corporate law. In the same subjects he has been lecturer and speaker in many courses and conferences.
He currently serves as Board Member of the European Liberal Forum and European Affairs Director of Fondazione Luigi Einaudi.

Sebastjan Pikl

Sebastjan Pikl | Institute Novum

Mr. Pikl is one of the founders and director of Institute NOVUM, an institute for strategic and applicable research that deals with policy analysis, visual media, and public relations. He has also served as an advisor for various communications projects, including the campaign for president of Republic of Slovenia Dr. Danilo Türk in 2007 and several liberal political parties. Mr. Pikl is a philosopher and political scientist by training, with special interests in the field of psychoanalysis, policy analysis and history of Mediterranean region.

Dr Hakima El Haite | President, Liberal International

De El Haite is the 14th president of Liberal International and she is the second female president in history of the organisation, being the first from the MENA region. El Haité is an internationally recognised leader in the fields of environmental sustainability development and climate change. As the former Minister of Environment for the Kingdom of Morocco, she was a major actor in bringing COP22 to Morocco. She was elected vice president of COP 21 (Paris Agreement) and appointed as Special Envoy and UN High-Level Champion of COP 22. Honours for her work include recognition by US President Obama as an innovative entrepreneur, and the Knight of the National Order of the Legion d’Honneur by the French President François Hollande. She hold two PhD degrees, in Organisational Development and Planning and in Process Engineering.

Mu Sochua | former Minister of Women Affairs, Board member, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, Cambodia

Mu Sochua is a Cambodian politician and rights activist. She sits on the board of the Asian Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR). She was a Member of Parliament until 2017 when she was forced into an exile due to death threats for her political work. Ealier, from 1998-2004, she served as Minister of Women and Veterans’ Affairs. During the Khmer rouge rule she lived in exiled and after 18 years returned to Cambodia in 1989 to work as an advocate for human rights, working to stop human trafficking, domestic violence and worker exploitation. For her human rights work she has received various international awards.

Jasmina Mršo | Deputy Secretary General of LIBSEEN, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jasmina Mršo is deputy secretary-general of the Liberal South East European Network (LIBSEEN) – coordinating 21 liberal organisations from this part of Europe. She was a municipal councillor in the Bosnian capital city of Sarajevo from the party Naša Stranka, where she serves as the international officer. Her main works include on projects related to gender equality, health policy, youth activism in South East Europe, the enlargement of the European Union and Western Balkan-EU relations. Currently she is policy officer at the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP).

Jean-Jacques Flahaux | President, Mouvement Réformateur International, Member of Federal Parliament (2014-2019), Belgium

Jean-Jacques Flahaux is a Belgian politician and President of Mouvement Reformateur International since October 2015. After spending years serving as Member of the Belgian federal Chamber of Representatives, he is currently a member of the Municipal Council of Braine-le-Comte. Before his political engagements, he has a teaching career as a professor of history, geopolitics and international relations, havong a degree in history and a graduate of European studies.

Fábio Osterman | Member of the State Legislation of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Fábio Ostermann is a university professor, political scientist and liberal activist. Passionate about Economics, History and Literature since his youth, he concentrates on ideals of freedom as the foundation for a prosperous and fair society and seeking ways to impact the world by disseminating these values. He played a decisive role in founding some of the most important liberal institutions in Brazil, such as Students For Liberty Brasil, Movimento Brasil Livre (MBL), Livres and Partido NOVO RS. In the Legislative Assembly of RS, he leads the bench of NOVO. In addition to obtaining Masters Degree in Social Science at PUCRS, he participated in the Leadership and Competitiveness Program at Georgetown University, USA.

Emil Kirjas | founder, Kirjas Global, Vice President, LI

Emil Kirjas is a Vice President of Liberal International, after having served earlier as its Secretary General from 2007-2017. From 2004-2006 he was State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Government of then Republic of Macedonia. He has extensive experience in various international organisations and institutions, having worked for Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Earlier over four years he led the International Federation of Liberal Youth. In 2018 he established “Kirjas Global” and advises heads of states and governments, as well as senior political leaders on geopolitics and international relations. He is frequently invited at international level to addresses issues of transformative powers of political networking, strategy and communication. He holds a Master’s Degree in Geopolitics from King’s College in London and Computer Engineering from the Skopje Univeristy.

This event is organised by the European Liberal Forum asbl with the support of Institute Novum.
Co-funded by the European Parliament. Neither the European Parliament nor the European Liberal Forum asbl are responsible for the content of this event or for any use that may be made of it.
The views expressed herein are those of the speaker(s) alone. These views do not necessarily reflect those of the European Parliament and/ or the European Liberal Forum asbl.