Resource Persons 2016

Mô Bleeker, Special Envoy for Dealing with the Past and Prevention of Atrocities, Swiss FDFA.

Since 1982 Mô Bleeker has been working on projects fostering peace building processes in Central America, Colombia, the Balkans, South-, Southeast-, and Central Asia as well as in several different regions of Africa. In 2003 she got the position of a Swiss peacebuilding advisor, for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), based in Guatemala. The following year she served as a senior advisor for the FDFA in charge of Dealing with the Past and Genocide prevention. After seven years working as a senior advisor she was appointed by the FDFA as the head of the Task Force for Dealing with the Past and the Prevention of Atrocities in 2011. In 2015 she became special envoy for Dealing with the Past and Prevention of Atrocities. Mô Bleeker has studied anthropology, religion sciences, journalism and social communication at the University of Fribourg. She also holds a post-graduate diploma in development studies at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Carlos Castresana Fernández, Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Spain

Since 1989 Carlos Castresana Fernandez works as a public prosecutor in Spain, serving the Supreme Court in Madrid. Prior to that, he also worked as a lawyer, investigating judge, court magistrate and special prosecutor against organized crime and corruption. In 1996 he filed in the lawsuits against the Argentinean and Chilean military Juntas and thus initiated the Pinochet Case. He teaches as an associate and guest professor of Criminal Law at the University Carlos III in Madrid and the University of San Francisco in California. Among other awards, he has received the National Human Rights Prize in Spain, two Doctor Honoris Causa degrees from the University of Guadalajara in México and the Central University in Chile, the Great Cross of the Quetzal from Guatemala, the Star of the Solidarity from Italy as well as a membership in the French Legion of Honour. Between 2007 and 2010 Carlos Castresana was a member of the Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) in the category of an assistant secretary general of the United Nations.

Serge Rumin, Deputy Head of the Task Force Dealing with the Past and Prevention of Atrocities, Swiss FDFA

Serge Rumin (PhD), Deputy Head of the Dealing with the Past and Prevention of Atrocities Task Force within the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA, has specialized in social changes in post-conflict environment. Recently M. Rumin was appointed as a member of the core expert group reviewing the UN Police Division and reporting to the UN SG.  Amongst other assignments, M. Rumin served as Head of the EU Human Rights Observers mission in Rwanda, as Deputy Head of the UN Human Rights Office in Bosnia-Herzegovina and as Security Sector Development Programme Director in Burundi for the Dutch MFA. For the last 20 years, he has worked extensively, including as consultant and researcher, in various contexts including the Balkans, Middle East, North, East, West and Central Africa, Afghanistan, East-Timor and Haiti with various bilateral and multilateral agencies and NGOs in the field of transitional justice and security sector reform. He earns a PhD in sociology, a Master in International Law and Political Science, and used to teach at the University of Law and Political Science in Aix-en-Provence.

Yasmin Sooka, Executive Director Foundation for Human Rights

Yasmin Sooka is a South African human rights lawyer and an executive director of the Foundation of Human Rights in South Africa. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Sooka was a member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa for three years; first serving as deputy chair to the Human Rights Violations Committee and later as the chair of the same Committee. Between 2002 and 2004 she was appointed by the UN as an international commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Sierra Leone. She has also consulted and assisted the governments of Ghana, Nepal, Afghanistan, Burundi, and Liberia in setting up truth commissions. Furthermore she serves on the Board of Trustees for Black Sash Trust, the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, as an executive member for the Niwano Peace Foundation, as well as an advisory member for the Centre for Global Governance Studies and the Institute for International Law in Leuven.