The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) welcomes the celebration of the International Human Rights Day on Thursday and reaffirms its commitment to promoting and protecting human rights, condemning at the same time any attempt to diminish the principles of their universality and indivisibility.
The MAE brings to mind, in a press release sent to AGERPRES, that this year also marks the 70th anniversary since the European Convention on Human Rights was opened for signing, through which Europe benefits from “a strong international system for the protection of human rights. “Over the past 70 years, the convention has expanded its scope across the continent, today protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of more than 830 million people in the 47 member states,” the Ministry said.
“During this period of multiple challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact, the human rights and fundamental freedoms situation has been severely affected by deepening inequalities and increasing the vulnerability of some social groups. It is necessary to address these global issues. “In addition, another concern of the international community is the rising phenomena of racism, xenophobia and hate speech,” the MAE said.
According to the MAE, the European Union and, implicitly, Romania have reaffirmed their commitment to contribute to the global pandemic response by promoting coordination in all relevant multilateral forums, including cooperation with the UN, WHO, Council of Europe, OSCE and regional organizations.
“The recent EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy for 2020-2024 reaffirms the EU’s strong commitment to further promoting the universal values to the benefit of all, based on the fundamental principle that no one should be left behind and no human right should be ignored. The International Human Rights Day contributes to the awareness that fundamental human rights and freedoms must be protected at all levels by a system of law, but also by all the participants in public life, requiring the identification of efficient responses, in the long run, to the pre-existing crises, such as migration, as well as to violations of the norms of international law,” underscored the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the same press release.
The set of foreign policy actions, as well as the priorities and activities at the level of international bodies – the UN, the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, OSCE, EU and Council of Europe – allowed Romania to demonstrate its values of democracy, the rule of law, international law and human rights. “Romania is and will remain an active contributor to the efforts of the international community to assert and respect human rights,” the MAE said.
The United Nations adopted, on December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, later supplemented by other documents: the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights (1966), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979), the Convention Against Torture (1984), the Convention against Apartheid (1985), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and others. Available in over 500 languages, the Declaration of Human Rights is currently the most translated document in the world.
The Human Rights Day was officially established on 4 December 1950, when the UN General Assembly, by a resolution, invited all Member States, as well as any other interested organizations, to celebrate this day as they saw fit.
President Iohannis: An opportunity to reflect on the role that every citizen can play in respecting and protecting the rights of others
President Klaus Iohannis stressed on Thursday that International Human Rights Day has not only an anniversary significance, but is an opportunity to reflect on the role that every citizen can play in respecting and protecting the rights of others.
“A cornerstone in the evolution of the protection of fundamental rights in the world, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reminds us today of the achievements of humanity in defending major causes, as well as the backlog that still exists, the need to reconnect political will to this mobilization. The more than 70 years that have passed since the adoption of this global commitment show us that a constant effort is needed to maintain the progress made,” reads a message from the head of state, sent on Thursday.
He highlighted the activity of public or private entities, of citizens who are engaged in the fight for the defense of human rights.
“The International Human Rights Day not only has an anniversary significance, but is an opportunity for each of us to reflect on the role we can play in respecting and protecting the rights of those around us, in the responsibility we must show to our fellows,” Iohannis said.
The President added that Romania has made “significant progress” in guaranteeing and defending the fundamental rights and freedoms of its citizens, “state institutions proving, perhaps more than ever this year, how important it is for their actions to remain permanently subsumed in the public interest.”
“In the future, state action needs to strengthen this direction by ensuring high standards of protection of constitutional rights and freedoms, through clear laws and especially through their efficient and responsible implementation, all of which have as effect the real modernization of the country. When the rights of one citizen are violated, the rights of all others are violated, which is why respect for fundamental rights remains part of my creed, as president of Romania and as citizen of this country, and part of the firm commitment to a state in which social peace, human dignity and the free development of the human personality are values assumed at the highest level,” the head of state mentioned.
Cazanciuc: Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights
Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, and Romania’s hard-earned right weighs heavily for the Romanian people, according to the message of the interim President of the Senate, Robert Cazanciuc, on the occasion of Human Rights Day.
“Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, and Romania has won its right to free expression with great difficulty, following the events of December 1989, which makes it a right that weighs heavily for the Romanian people,” reads the message conveyed by the Senate interim president sent to AGERPRES on Thursday.
The message highlights the special attention that needs to be paid to the rights of children, women, victims of torture, as well as to people with disabilities, but also to the protection of health care.
“We must pay special attention to the rights of children, women, victims of torture, as well as to people with disabilities, who over time have been social categories discriminated against, the reminiscent effects of which can, unfortunately, be felt even now, in a modern society. Today, one of the most valuable rights is the right to healthcare. In crisis situations like this pandemic, it is essential for the state to have the capacity to manage the health system,” Cazanciuc said.
The document also highlights the fact that at the level of the European Union “the violation of human rights is severely sanctioned from a legal, political point of view, but also by the society as a whole”.
“That is why Romanians, as European citizens, should be more aware of the importance of their rights and be more concerned with their observance and protection,” the statement said.
Following the atrocities committed in World War II and the Holocaust, the human rights movement culminated in the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first international act to express fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed worldwide.
“‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,’ affirms the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly 72 years ago. Human rights are natural rights because they are closely linked to human nature. These are provided for in national and international legislation and represent essential values that underlie the European Union, as provided by the founding treaties,” adds Cazanciuc.