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Caux Forum 2017: Official Opening
Friday 30 June 2017, 14.00-17.30

Exploring the links between inequalities and extremisms


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Are today’s growing extremisms fuelled by inequality? Is globalization a source of widening economic and social gaps, not only in developing countries but also in the strongest economies worldwide, which at the same time is creating breeding grounds for conflicts, violence and expressions of intolerance?

Through storytelling and a panel conversation, we will highlight inspiring personal stories of individuals who work on preventing extremism in their communities or their jobs. We will connect these stories with approaches taken by business, government and international organizations and explore how these efforts can be coordinated.

The Official Opening will set the tone for the whole Caux Forum 2017, which through events, dialogues and training programmes, will address extremes of all kinds. It will be a unique opportunity to discuss, share and discover global issues in a multicultural and diverse setting, and to encourage each of us to get inspired and take action to stand against extremes, to promote dialogue and respect and to work for a more just, peaceful and sustainable world, one step at a time.  


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13:30     Welcome drinks

14:00     Official Welcome by:

Classical music by Michèle Bächthold-Goetze, mezzosoprano, and Sonia Hauser, piano

Storytelling* and interaction with the audience, facilitated by Barbara Hintermann, Secretary General of the CAUX-IofC Foundation, with Hasan Hawar, a student and refugee from Syria, and Bjørn Ihler, a young leader of the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Extremely Together Initiative and survivor of the Anders Breivik terrorist attack, who uses art to counter extreme right wing narratives.

15:30     Tea and Coffee break

16:00     Classical music by Michèle Bächthold-Goetze, mezzosoprano, and Sonia Hauser, piano

Panel conversation* and interaction with the audience, facilitated by Eric Marclay, Executive-in-Residence at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), with:

  • Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations
  • Raphael Nägeli, Deputy Head of the Human Security Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs with rank of Minister
  • Ramiro Santa, Director of Integral Responsibility at OCENSA

Closing remarks by Cornelio Sommaruga, Honorary President of the International Association of Initiatives of Change International

17:30    Farewell drinks, optional short visit of the Caux Palace

18:30    Dinner


Click here for more information about the Caux Forum 2017


Laurent WehrliLaurent Wehrli, Mayor of Montreux

Laurent Wehrli, member of the PLR.Les Libéraux-Radicaux, was elected to the Town Council of Montreux in 2001 and became its mayor in 2011. MP for the Grand Council of the Canton of Vaud from 2002 to 2015, he is now a member of the External politics Commission of the National Council, and its chairman since 2015. He is also chair of the Council of Social politics of the Canton of Vaud. An arts graduate and former journalist, he also owns a projects company. Born in 1965, he is married and has five children and two grand-children.





Antoine Jaulmes, President CAUX-IofC Foundation

Antoine Jaulmes is the President of the Council of the Foundation since April 2012. A graduate of the Paris School of Mines he has since worked with PSA Peugeot Citroën where he is now the Director of the Light Commercial Vehicles R&D Platform. Impressed since his younger years both by the tragedy of third world’s poverty and by the shrinking availability of natural resources, he is a fervent supporter of every initiative which may advance the emergence of an urgently needed more just world order. His long-held conviction is that IofC’s specific approach will contribute towards this aim in several ways.




Barbara Hintermann, Secretary General CAUX-IofC Foundation

Barbara Hintermann has been Secretary General of the Foundation since March 2015. She has 20 years of experience in the humanitarian and corporate sectors, occupying diverse executive leadership and managing positions in the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Europe.





Hasan Hawar, Student and refugee from Syria

Hasan Hawar fled Syria to avoid military service. From Turkey, he decided to make the journey to Europe by land and sea and arrived in Switzerland in 2015, where he received refugee status and where now lives with his sister. His parents, his brother and another sister still live in Damascus. Having learnt German in just over a year, Hasan will pursue his IT-studies in Switzerland from September 2017.





Bjørn Ihler, Young Leader of the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Extremely Together Initiative and survivor of the Anders Breivik terrorist attack, who uses art to counter extreme right wing narratives 

Bjørn Magnus Jacobsen Ihler is a designer freelance activist, public speaker, writer, filmmaker and performance and technician working internationally against the ideology of racism, hatred and violent extremism. His work is influenced by his experiences as a survivor of the attack on Utøya Island in Norway in 2011; however political activism and work against violence among people has always been one of his core interests. Ihler is as a technologist, designer and content creator involved in a number of projects and start-ups using data and narratives to challenge extremism. You can follow his work on He is a member of the Kofi Annan Foundation’s Extremely Together initiative. Bjørn is currently completing his MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Hacettepe University in Turkey, and holds a BA in Theatre and Performance Design and Technology focusing on video design and animation for the stage from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.


Eric Marclay, Executive-in-Residence at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)

Eric Marclay has worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross for over 20 years, leading large-scale operations in conflict prone contexts, mainly in the Middle East and last as Director of Operations for East Africa. During a fellowship at the Chaire Raoul-Dandurand (strategic studies), he initiated the “Peace Mission” research group working on humanitarian issues, and published L'aide canadienne au développement (coll.PUM, 2008), Le 11 septembre, cinq ans plus tard - Le terrorisme, les États-Unis et le Canada (coll.Septentrion, 2006), Sécurité nationale vs. Immigration (Lex Electronica, 2006), La responsabilité de protéger: un nouveau paradigme ou une boîte à outils ? (Chaire RdD, 2005), and short papers on security & strategic affairs. Eric holds a M.A. in Political Science and Law and a C.A.S. in Corporate Social Responsibility.


Kate Gilmore, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights

Kate Gilmore was appointed United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights on 1st December 2015. Prior to joining OHCHR, Ms. Gilmore was Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director for Programmes with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Previously, she was National Director of Amnesty International Australia and then Executive Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International. Ms. Gilmore started her career as a social worker and government policy officer in Australia, where she was granted honorary appointments to provincial and national public policy and law reform processes, including membership of the country’s first National Committee on Violence Against Women. Ms. Gilmore holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Universiy of New England and postgraduate degrees in Social Work from the University of Melbourne and Community Development from RMIT.


Raphael Nägeli (Switzerland), Deputy Head of the Human Security Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs with rank of Minister

Raphael Naegeli is Deputy Head of the Human Security Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs with rank of Minister. He was born on 29 September 1969 in Zurich, Switzerland. He attended schools in Zurich and graduated in 1996 with a Master of Philosophy after studies in History, Economy and History of Eastern Europa at University of Zurich and Free University Berlin. Following professional experiences in journalism and banking he started his diplomatic career 1998 at the Office of European Integration within the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Subsequently he was posted at the Embassies in Sarajevo and Budapest and from 2002-2004 as first collaborator of the Swiss Embassy Sarajevo. With his return to Bern 2004 he became chief of staff at the Human Security Divison of the FDFA. Seconded to the International Civilian Office, a supervisory body for the newly independent state of Kosovo he headed its Unit for Minority Integration from 2008-2011. Returning to Bern in 2011 Raphael Nägeli first became Regional Coordinator for South Eastern Europe, 2012 deputy head in the rank of a minister and 2015 head of the Task Force for the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship. Raphael Naegeli is married and has two children.


Ramiro Santa, Director of Integral Responsibility at OCENSA

Ramiro Santa belongs to the OCENSA Central Pipeline management team with responsibility for sustainability and viability through Human Rights, Community Development, HSE and the creation of Culture of Life Care, Environment and Assets. He has 25 years of experience in the oil and mining industry in Colombia and other countries in South America. He has worked in Oxy, Shell, Nimir Petroleum, Hocol, Refinery of Cartagena and AngloGold Ashanti. He is a current member of the board of directors of Free Country against kidnapping, Uniminuto University, Technological University and Pipelines of Colombia Foundation. His work is a case study at several universities, Social Enterprise Knowledge Network (SEKN), Harvard Business School, Transparency International chapter Colombia and Philanthropy and Social Justice in the Andes of the Ford Foundation. His work has been awarded the Energy Institute Award in 2003 and the 2006 United Nations Award Community Development Project in Dubai.


Cornelio Sommaruga, Honorary President of the International Association of Initiatives of Change International

Cornelio Sommaruga was born in Rome in 1932 of Swiss parents. He graduated with a doctorate in law from the University of Zurich in 1957. He held diplomatic posts from 1960-68 in The Hague, Bonn and Rome with the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs. From 1969-73 he was Deputy Head of the Swiss Delegation to EFTA, GATT, UNCTAD and ECE/UN in Geneva, and from 1973-75 he was Deputy Secretary General of EFTA in Geneva. He worked in the Federal Office for External Economic Affairs in Berne from 1976-83, when he became State Secretary for External Economic Affairs until 1986. From 1987-99 he was President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Geneva. Since retiring from the ICRC he has served on a number of national and international Boards. He is honorary President of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD). He is married, with four daughters, two sons and 14 grandchildren.



Michèle Bächtold-Goetze, mezzosoprano

Michèle Bächtold-Goetze started her singing career as a soloist, performing for numerous concerts in Switzerland, Germany, France, Hungary and the Netherlands. She put her international singing career on hold when she started a family, devoting herself to teaching and to her passion for dance. Connecting music, movement and emotions, she has been working for many years as a “teaching artist” for the organization “Dancing classrooms”, teaching ballroom dancing to students to promote mutual respect and trust, as well as for the organization “Dance with me” to build community bonds through creativity and dialogue.



Sonia Hauser, pianist

Sonia Hauser’s piano career has led her to the Jaques-Dalcroze Institute at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, the Geneva Music conservatoire, and is now teaching piano in the music school of her career’s debut. She loves to explore her instrument through a range of musical ensembles, from chamber music, concertos, orchestras and alongside choirs. Lately, her passion for accompanying singers was revived when she met Michèle. Her curiosity for human nature and her own personal quest have led her to trainings on Transactional Analysis, on the Rességuier method or on Thai Yoga Massage, but the shared joy of musical emotions remain at the heart of her practice.


Michèle's and Sonia's paths have crossed recently and this encounter has inspired the two musicians to create a duet ensemble to explore the world of « Lieders », German poems for solo voice with piano or instrumental accompaniment. For the occasion of the official opening of the Caux Forum they will sing songs by Johannes Brahms and Richard Strauss.




We will hear two personal stories on experiences of inequalities and extremisms. One is from a Syrian refugee who is now studying in Switzerland. The other is from a survivor of the 2011 Norway attacks who is now talking to right extremists to defeat violent extremism.

Panel Conversation*

Representatives from business, government and international organizations will explore opportunities and challenges of applying human rights in business as a way forward to reduce social and economic gaps and to being compliant with human rights standards. They will discuss polarization in Europe and elsewhere, be it between left and right wing politics or between protectionism and globalization, and highlight practical ways of countering inequalities and extremisms.