Quiero compartir el honor que es, para  esta colombiana, haber entrado en la lista de candidatos a ser Relator Especial sobre el Derecho a la Libertad de Reunión pacífica y de Asociación. Lo entiendo sobre todo como  un reconocimiento a contar con la  capacidad, la imparcialidad  y la  integridad  necesarias para desempeñar ese cargo honorífico en criterio de Naciones Unidas/OHCHR.

Desde esa posición creo que  podría contribuir a proteger  alrededor del mundo tanto el derecho de libre reunión de las personas y los ciudadanos, como su derecho a formar organizaciones entre sí.

Afianzar los derechos de reunión pacífica de las personas y los ciudadanos  que disienten, se empoderan, protestan  y  que desde una posición, sea alineada con el Gobierno, sea en oposición a el, mantienen, vibrante y oxigenada, a la sociedad civil de cada Estado-Nación es importante. Tanto como lo es reunirse ocasionalmente o para configurar en movimientos sociales que transformen o mejoren la cultura social, el medio ambiente y  las instituciones que les gobiernan  y son expresión de iniciativas colectivas de desarrollo humano producto su voluntad e ingenio personal y privado.

La libertad de asociación, por su parte, es la que permite a las iniciativas y reuniones  cristalizarse en organizaciones estructuradas y permanentes, e incluso incorporarse como personas jurídicas dotadas de voluntad y capacidad de actuacion autónoma y constante.De la libertad de asociación depende no sólo el compás de acción  sobre el que se constituyen  sociedades comerciales y compañías de negocios particulares en el mercado sino también los sindicatos, partidos políticos, congregaciones de fe y culto, gremios económicos, colegios profesionales o cámaras sectoriales, universidades, juntas de vecinos, ligas de consumidores y asociaciones cooperativas y mutuales entre muchas otras formas jurídicas más.  Estas, junto a las Fundaciones, son las muy maltratadas y desprestigiadas Entidades Sin Ánimo de Lucro o No Gubernamentales que, para explicarlas y protegerlas mejor, luego de veinte años de investigación y reflexión sostengo son, en una definición positiva de su identidad concluida en el 2011, Entidades Con Animo de Alteridad.

Del derecho humano a reunirse para protestar efectivamente  hasta el derecho a coligarse con los otros y/o lo otros,  creo que podría contribuir a profundizar y concretar,en la práctica privada y en la política pública, un mayor goce del derecho de reunión y de asociación. Por eso no solo me honra la candidatura  sino que sobretodo la  entiendo como una oportunidad para provocar pensamiento sobre estos derechos fundamentales de la persona y el ciudadano actuando en su dimensión tanto individual como colectiva.

Porque creo que más importante que llegar a Itaca, son  las razones que animaron a zarpar y mantenerse en búsqueda y travesía,  abajo he adjuntado  parte del dossier de antecedentes relevantes para este cargo  y la carta de motivación original, antes de que fuera condensada, en el formato de candidatura a la Relatoria Especial.

Lamentablemente la información está disponible sólo en inglés pero me pareció en todo caso importante compartirla. También se encuentran, mediante hipervinculo, adjuntas las cartas  enviadas  por  Oxfam, Baltasar Garzón y Asociaciones de recicladores de oficio colombianos para apoyar mi candidatura en la ONU,  estas cartas están en Español.

Independientemente del resultado, es un gran honor recibir la validación a un  largo y arduo trabajo iniciado e inspirado por la sociedad civil de mi país  aunque desarrollado también en otros lugares del mundo y estar en competencia junto a varios queridos y admirados  colegas.

Seguro, ellos como yo, querrán también tratar de servir más y mejor -con verdadero compromiso humano  e imparcialidad política-  a nuestra sociedad civil organizada  global y contemporánea.

ruizrestrepo-un-rapporteur

Unabridged (Original version  used  for Dossier preparation)

MOTIVATION LETTER

The right to express an opinion and receive information are as inherent to the realization of any individual human being as the rights to reunite and organize within her/his community.

In fact, it is in the communication beyond the ordinary human interactions, in the deep communication of connections needed to assemble around a joint cause or associate with strategy, structure and a vocation of permanence to attain a shared objective, where intersubectivity is formed within the community.

It is in the enjoyment of the right to peacefully reunite and associate with other individuals where our human and civil society is preserved and recreated across the world.

The natural/god given/human rights to assemble and associate with others were simultaneously recognized as fundamental to every human being by an international consensus in 1948 and have been safeguarded since by the United Nations through an array of international instruments.

In addition to the direct protection of these freedoms by the ICCPR, others instruments also protect them indirectly, chiefly by resorting to these rights to empower women; promote entrepreneurship in development; deliberation and governance in democracy; protect the environment; safeguard victims’ rights in justice, and amplify the voice of individuals surviving in informal economic occupations, among others.

Because reunion and organization are both inherent to humanity and structural to society, diverse cultures and legislations have had these rights incorporated in their Constitutions long before the promulgation of the UDHR. Individuals have therefore had for many decades domestic law provisions and jurisprudence to ensure respect and grant protection to the freedom of assembly and association when exerted in a non-violent manner.

I want to serve as the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association to work tirelessly in the reinforcement of the dialogue between local cultures and global trends concerned with safeguarding civic space in society. I want to find ways, within the Euro Latin, Anglo-American and Islamic legal systems among others, to reinforce the nexus between domestic rules and international provisions which guarantee the individual human right to reunite and associate freely and peacefully within their countries in these times of political unrest and democratic transformations.

I have been studying, understanding, using, protecting and advancing these rights most of my life. At the age of 12, I started an association with other children at school to support the young and elderly living in the streets of Cali; at 18 the initiative migrated to the university and in Bogota it became an association to empower vulnerable sectors of society in their right to legal identity and accessing public services and other opportunities.

From law school I graduated in 1995 with a thesis entitled State and NGOs: a juridical formula for articulating the public civic sphere and the public official sphere of the State. It was the starting point of a long juridical reflection that structured in France, enriched in the United States and Latin America, and culminated in 2011, during  the Arab Spring, as the Theory of Alterity as Intention.

Throughout these years and along my professional work in public and nonprofit law (constitutional, administrative, penal and tax law) I have independently and voluntarily worked to protect the movements and associations of vulnerable civil society and empowered them under the rule of law and in light of international human rights.

The results of this effort are verifiable in public policy, the amendments of tax and public procurement provisions as well as litigation resulting in constitutional reinterpretations and other legal actions for safeguarding the juridical space that is needed for collective empowerment in democracy and for development.

Granted the honor, I would work with the conviction, integrity and commitment with which I have served in the United Nations before.

RELEVANT QUALIFICATIONS TO THE MANDATE

I have lived and worked in Europe, United States, Latin America and, episodically, in the Middle East. Hence, I communicate fluently in Spanish, English and French and began learning Arabic.

I graduated from law school in Universidad de los Andes in Bogota and then studied in Assas (Paris 2) Administrative law and Political Science. I have continued my education in international and constitutional human rights, and the public and private law that is pertinent to Organized Civil Society by taking courses on NGOs and Development, Advocacy for Policy Reform and the Constitutionalization of ordinary law.

Because the organized civil society (whether juridicized or not) that crystallizes as not-for-profit organizations of a social and solidarity economy is not yet an autonomous area of law in thesis nor in praxis, I consider most of my inter-cultural research, experience and reflection in the promotion and defense of civil society throughout twenty years as an integral part of my education.

The use of human rights to approach problems and craft solutions is the basis of my work in the promotion of empowerment of people trapped in poverty within the market, campaigning for the civic and solidaristic betterment of democracy, strengthening the role of CSOs in the realm of justice and in the constitutional, fiscal and penal defense of CSOs from legal and regulatory restriction or discrimination.

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE TO THE MANDATE

Understanding and learning to use human rights began in the National Constituent Assembly of 1991 which established Colombia as a Social Rule of Law country, and then in the Constitutional Court where I worked as part of the team responsible for supporting Justice Cepeda’s decisions regarding the abstract review of the law and actio certiorari of writs of human rights protection.

Later in UNODC I was responsible of the counter human trafficking pilot project in the Americas based in Bogota which sought to secure human rights of victims while bettering the prosecution of national and transnational organized crime (Palermo Protocol).

Hosted by UNDP, the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, gave me the chance to learn more about the intersection of the economy and human rights and the structural importance of freedom of assembly and of association to boost development and facilitate information, agency and capacity to step out of poverty and end barriers of social discrimination.

Voluntary work in the field defending movements and associations of vulnerable sectors of society has allowed me to understand the importance of securing the right to have rights within the system, as opposed to assistance and compassion solutions only.

The Colombian peace process just like the Arab spring in which I have taken part or been involved actively, both deepened my understanding of the right to peaceful assembly.

ESTABLISHED  COMPETENCE ON THE RIGHTS TO FREEDOM OF PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND OF ASSOCIATION

My competence in understanding and contributing to the theory and praxis of the human right or freedom of assembly and of association could be better established by my colleagues in the international, regional and national spheres of my work and the fora in which I have participated as either a member, adviser or expert stakeholder.

These include, among others, ISTR[1], EMES[2], ICNL[3], CIVICUS[4], CLEP[5], WIEGO[6], ASH[7] ICSEM[8], WMD[9], NAMATI[10], TSI[11], EC-Tunis[12], Encuentros Iberoamericanos[13], Philantropic Freedom Index[14], and the GNPO Coalition[15], among others which also include the RRA think-tank and the Civism and Solidarity Foundation for Systemic Change-CIVISOL of which I am a founder. As a way of example I served as international adviser to ICNL from the years 2005 to 2015, and 10 years ago, within  Civicus I stressed the need for reinforcing international rights based juridical protection. I advocated  within an Expert Group for creating a charter of clear and concrete  international human rights based principles for organised civil society.

Regionally, I believe my competence in defending the rights of movements and associations of vulnerable civil society vis-a-vis their regulatory exclusion and market marginalization is established particularly within the case law safeguarding waste pickers associations in formal development. The impact of the work in human rights within criminal justice was distiguished by a UN21 commendation to the project I coordinated in UNODC and being invited as a stakeholder of the TSI project which defines Third Sector in Europe, I believe demontrates my longstanding and transnational commitment to protect the core values of Civil Society Organizations. My theory redefining not-for-profit organizations as for-alterity organizations as a system to secure transparency and trustworthiness of CSOs has been incorporated  in Colombian law since 2012 and is increasingly used by civil society practitioners which is the ultimate measure of its worth.

PUBLICATIONS, PUBLIC STATEMENTS  OR PRONOUNCEMENTS IN RELATION TO THE MANDATE

  • Professionally Fluent in Spanish, English and French
  • 1995, Estado y ONGs: Estudio de una formula jurídica de articulación del espacio público ciudadano y público estatal. (Tesis de Grado Uniandes,) http://bit.ly/2diADcd
  • 2002, Corte Constitucional, Successful Litigation in defense of the right to freedom of association of vulnerable civil society groups on order to access the market, empower socieconomically and through Not For Profit Organzations of  Solidarity offer to provide waste management and recycling services to the city. http://bit.ly/2gj6Mih
  • 2004 Sobre cómo hacer algo o Panorama de Desarrollo desde la Sociedad Civil (RGS-Presidencia de la República de Colombia) http://bit.ly/2gDKRVQ
  • 2004, Dimensión desconocida: solidaridad desprestigiada  (Revista Semana) http://bit.ly/2gktQiY
  • 2005, TUSEV ICNL Global Forum on Civil Society Law Opening Plenary and International law sources for third sector http://bit.ly/2g1GLai
  • 2005, Presidente & ONG: una pelea mal casada (Revista Semana) http://bit.ly/2faMCte
  • 2005, Le Rôle du Droit dans le Tiers Secteur (ISTR EMES,) http://bit.ly/2fq0LODL
  • 2005, Las ONGs un Nuevo Actor en lo Público, Uniandes, Volver a los Andes, http://bit.ly/2fV2Mq4
  • 2006 BBC Entrevista: Funcionan las Ongs?  http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/forums/enlace/newsid_6115000/6115010.stm
  • 2006, On the Need of a Civil Society Rights Charter for protecting Third Sector Space of NPOs/NGO CIVICUS World Assembly  http://bit.ly/2giH4wv
  • 2007, Active without recognition: Obstacles to development of the Colombian third sector. IJNL http://bit.ly/2gDFpCr
  • 2007, The Poor Shall not Remain Small : Broadening access to the market by means of strengthening Non-Profit Organizations’ Rights through Constitutional Justice  (Leiden & Harvard, Ash Center) http://bit.ly/2fH2Eav
  • 2009, A LEGAL EMPOWERMENT STRATEGY FOR  LATIN  AMERICAN  POOR, UNDP-OGC Discussion Paper 6  http://bit.ly/2g7dOGl
  • 2009, La Defensa de la Sociedad Civil, Estudio en Leyes y Regulaciones Que Rigen Las Organizaciones de La Sociedad Civil en Colombia http://bit.ly/2f7hgnq
  • 2011 Marco Regulatório das Organizações da Sociedade Civil- MROSC , http://bit.ly/2jCC2NR, http://bit.ly/2k67tyU ,  (Secretaria de Governo da Presidência da República do Brasil)
  • 2011 Marco Regulatório das Organizações da Sociedade Civil- MROSC, http://bit.ly/2jCC2NR, http://bit.ly/2k67tyU ,  (Secretaria de Governo da Presidência da República do Brasil)
  • 2012, Aplicación de la Teoría de la Alteridad como Intención o Alteridad Jurídica en la Reforma Tributaria Estructural de las Entidades Sin Animo de Lucro en Colombia http://bit.ly/2dmN0z
  • 2014, Ruiz-Restrepo recomendaciones al FMI http://bit.ly/2e1KDYU
  • 2016, War, Art and Peace: about the Colombian Referendum and the peace agreement (Equal times) http://bit.ly/2gjbdIA
  • 2016, El momento de la Sociedad Civil (El Nuevo Siglo,) http://bit.ly/2gDMPWp
  • 2016, Civisol’s position on FATF Recommendation 8. Global NPO Coalition http://bit.ly/2fuDuOQ
  • 2016, La Re-definición de la Entidades Sin Ánimo de Lucro por su ánimo de alteridad en el Estatuto Tributario Colombiano LEGIS  http://bit.ly/2e9cNkJ
  • 2016, The Peace Process in Colombia and the Role of Civil Society, Arab Forum on Alternativas, Egypt.  http://bit.ly/2lTAv6Z

THREE REFERENCE LETTERS

UN /OHCHR Listing of Validated Experts and Official Candidates to the Special Mandate


[1] International Society on Third Sector Research

[2]  European Research Network on Solidarity Economy

[3] International Center on Non Profit Law

[4] CIVICUS

[5] Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor

[6] Women in Informal Economy Globalising and Organizing

[7]Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation

[8] International Comparative Social Enterprise Models Project

[9] World Movement for Democracy

[10] NAMATI : Innovations in Legal Empowerment

[11] Third Sector Impact Project Europe

[12] Engagement Citoyen/ Coaltion de OSCs tunesiennes

[13] Encuentros Iberoamericanos del Tercer Sector

[14] Center for Global Prosperity-Hudson Institute

[15] Global NPO coalition on FATF Recommendation 8

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s