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February 3, 2023

Iohannis on International Human Rights Day: Only through an individual responsibility can we overcome this period

President Klaus Iohannis sent a message on International Human Rights Day on Friday stating that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is never easy for decision-makers to take measures that restrict the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms, pointing out that “only through an individual responsibility can we overcome this period.”

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948, represents a major milestone in human history. This global commitment has for the first time established common standards for the promotion and protection of human rights at the international level. The recognition of human dignity, inalienable rights and their importance are the foundation of freedom, justice and peace among the peoples of the world. World War II showed that without clear universal protection mechanisms, without internationally agreed rules, human rights are vulnerable and freedom can be crushed in the face of tyranny. Establishing rights and freedoms in fundamental laws and in many international treaties gives substance to this ideal, of the universal protection of human rights. These are constant efforts, a continuous dedication to make the world a better place, in which human dignity and the freedoms of the citizens are promoted, respected, understood,” says the head of state in the message, according to a Presidential Administration release.

He points out that over the last year, deeply marked by the pandemic of COVID-19, the topic of the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens has been more than ever on everyone’s lips, on the public agenda, in the attention of political decision-makers, courts, citizen, and in this new reality, states have been put in a position to find balanced approaches.

“The protection of public health, the right to life, physical integrity, the simultaneous protection of all other rights and freedoms are not easy to achieve, especially when they depend on social cohesion, trust in institutions, the effectiveness of state action. It is never easy for decision-makers to take measures that restrict the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms, even if they pursue legitimate purposes, are provided for by law, are temporary and proportionate. That is why, only through individual responsibility can we overcome this period and enjoy the full exercise of our fundamental rights and freedoms, while being aware of the duties that flow from our status of citizens of Romania. The ideals enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come to life in our daily lives with the values we assume and promote, with our attitudes and behaviors, in full respect of human dignity. In order to live harmoniously in society, we need balance, and this day is a good opportunity to get to know our rights, freedoms, but also our duties, to reflect on them and to do everything in our power for the rights of others to be respected and protected,” President Iohannis says, according to Agerpres.

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