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UAE calls for global cooperation to enhance human rights education

posted on 12/12/2004: 645 views

The United Arab Emirates has called last night for global cooperation to boost human rights education. This came in a statement made by Sheikha Najila Al Qasimi, Member of Delegation of the UAE to the 59th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations before the General Assembly on item entitled "United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education.”

Following is the full text of the statement:- Mr. Chairman, Today we celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education which aims at promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all human beings without any discrimination due to race or gender or religion or language. In this international gathering, I would like to commend the UN and its organs for their efforts in the past years, and take this opportunity to remind the international community that more efforts need to be made on international, regional and national levels in order to achieve our common goals in terms of improving the international conditions of human rights.

In the past years, the attention was focused on developing international standards and mechanisms for the principal human rights in order to put the question of human rights and dignity on the top of the human values that govern nations regardless of their cultural or historical differences. To achieve peace and development, we must ensure full enjoyment of freedom and equality, promote principles of tolerance and sharing of responsibility, and ensure respect for nature.

In spite of all efforts made in this regard, flagrant and hideous violations of human rights including, racial discrimination, violence against the most vulnerable people in the society such as women, children, handicapped and elderly, extrajudicial killings and detentions, continue to take place in many regions of the world. Main reasons of these violations include poverty, illiteracy, internal conflicts and wars.

As the international procedures taken so far for combating this phenomenon are no longer adequate, we must strengthen our co-operation in encouraging and promoting the public awareness of human rights.

Culture and heritage of nations should be used as an essential instrument for promoting and consolidating human rights among the individuals of the society.

I would like to commend the High Commissioner for Human rights for the efforts made towards providing the Member States with information, technical assistance and the training needed on human rights education. The UAE welcomes the recommendations of the Social and Economic Council on proclaiming a world program on human rights education to begin on 1 January 2005.

Mr. Chairman, Though the UAE had been established since 3 decades, it has created a set of laws for regulating human rights as a top priority in its national policy which is derived from Islam. The Government has worked on highlighting this part of our true religion which calls for protection of human rights and consolidation of its principles among its nationals.

The constitution of the UAE affirmed the right of its citizens to equality, social justice, security and equal opportunities. It has also defined the rights of children and motherhood, and provided protection to the minors, handicapped and elderly. The right to education and health care was granted to all citizens of the country.

-1- The UAE has signed the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. The Government has accordingly adapted its national laws and legislations in order to fulfil its international obligations. It has also changed the structures of some government institutions, and introduced new posts in the areas of civil service and protection of human rights in the hospitals, police stations, and corrective institutions in order to enhance the public awareness in the regard.

As part of its efforts towards promoting the culture of human rights in the country, the Government has incorporated the basics of human rights in the curriculum of schools, police academies and army schools. Seminars and conferences were also organized on relevant subjects such as international humanitarian law, human rights, trafficking in persons, and care to victims of crimes and violence.

Mr. President, The principles of human rights are deeply rooted and represent a heritage of high values that call for preservation of cultures and beliefs of people. It also calls for assisting countries to achieve development without affecting their political independence, or interfering in their internal affairs or imposing external reforms. The international community must ensure respect for cultures and religions of other peoples and encourage them to develop a legacy of ideas and innovations for the coming generations.

While the United Arab Emirates observes the deteriorated humanitarian conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories, it calls upon the international community to provide the necessary protection to the Palestinian population in order to enable them to exercise their national and human rights, and to enjoy the right to self-determination including establishment of an independent state with Al-Quds Al Sharif as its capital.

The UAE also demands the international community to exert the maximum pressure on Israel to force it to stop violations of human rights which included confiscation of the Palestinian lands, establishment of illegitimate Jewish settlements and acts of extra judicial killings. The UAE also calls for investigating the Israeli violations of the principles of the international and humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention on Protection of Civilians in Time of War.

In order to affirm the importance and credibility of the principals of the human rights, it is essential for the international community to ensure neutrality and impartiality of international resolutions taken in questions on human rights. Also the democratic practices must be enhanced in this process in order to strengthen the legitimacy and effectiveness of these resolutions and to ensure its compliance with the international judicial system including legislations and judgments issued by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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