Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Declaration by Catherine Ashton

Declaration by High Representative Catherine Ashton on behalf of the European Union on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2012

Today, on 10 December, we celebrate Human Rights Day. Standing up for Human Rights, democracy and the rule of law is the silver thread that runs through EU external relations.

This year we look back on a productive year for the EU in human rights. The EU adopted a Human Rights Strategy to enhance the effectiveness and consistency of EU human rights policy across the full range of its activities. We appointed the first EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Mr Stavros Lambrinidis, to promote human rights through dialogue with third countries as well as international and regional organisations. The EU was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2012 in recognition of its work on reconciliation, democracy and the promotion of human rights, which helped extend the area of peace and stability across the continent. It is fitting that the presentation of this prestigious prize comes on the day of the celebration of human rights.

The theme of this year's Human Rights Day is inclusion and the right to participate in public life. It is a particularly timely theme in light of the transitions to democracy that we are witnessing worldwide. A number of countries in our neighbourhood such as Tunisia, Libya and Egypt successfully organised democratic elections in the past year, allowing many citizens to vote freely for the first time and offering them an opportunity to participate in the decisions affecting their future. This trend towards democracy was also apparent further afield. After decades of internal repression, dramatic changes are finally taking place in Burma/Myanmar. In Somalia, we welcomed the adoption of a new provisional Constitution and in Sierra Leone, the recent elections were conducted in a peaceful environment.

Yet much remains to be done to support those who risk their lives in support of the fundamental values they believe in and in the hope of a better future for themselves and future generations. Holding elections can only be a first step towards deep democracy in which human rights take root. Rights need to be enshrined in society through law, but also through daily practice. The EU is conscious of renewed efforts by various governments to tighten restrictions on the legitimate activities of NGOs – especially but not exclusively those that receive external funding. The EU is committed to supporting the vital work of civil society. In this context, a European Endowment for Democracy has been established as one concrete expression of the EU’s commitment to support democracy in the Neighbourhood and beyond.

We believe that everyone must be free to exercise their right to equal participation. Women and young people have been at the forefront of many of the democratic movements that we have witnessed this year and have been an inspiration to people around the world. People with disabilities still face obstacles in exercising their right to participate in public life, which must be addressed. The EU is committed to work with governments around the world, through multilateral and international organisations and in a spirit of genuine partnership with civil society to support new democracies and ensure the right to inclusion and participation in public life can become a concrete reality for all.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

No Charges: Outcome
Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area.

Following a lengthy and complex investigation, charges are not being laid by Police at this time regarding 8 incidents involving 7 victims and 5 suspects. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news