EU Statement on International Human Rights Day

eu_flagThe European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe joins the people of Zimbabwe and the rest of the world in commemorating the International Human Rights Day 2010. International Human Rights Day commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on 10 December 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is globally accepted as the world’s “Bill of Rights”, specifying the universal and indivisible rights of the individual.

This year’s theme “Human Rights Defenders who act to end discrimination” acknowledges the valuable work being done by Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) who primarily protect and promote the rights of citizens, advocate justice and seek to protect the victims of human rights violations usually at great risk to themselves and their families.

International Human Rights day 2010 also seeks to highlight and promote the achievements of HRDs who work to eradicate discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, creed, gender, tribe or any other grounds.

By virtue of their membership to the UN, governments have an obligation to protect HRDs and provide a conducive environment for the realisation of all human rights.

Human Rights are at the heart of the EU common foreign and security policy. The principles of liberty, democracy, respect for Human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are inherent to the European integration process. Adherence to these principles constitutes the prerequisite for peace, development and security in any society.

The EU has constantly rejected and condemned discrimination in all its forms. It has adopted, at Ministerial level, guidelines on Human Rights and Human Rights Defenders which although not legally binding represent a strong political signal that these are priorities for the Union.

The European Union has supported and continues to support the work of HRDs as it firmly believes that the respect of all human rights will lead to a better society for all citizens. The EU is encouraged that the inclusive Government is setting up a Human Rights Commission, whose mandate is to ensure the respect of human rights for all Zimbabweans regardless of their political affiliation.

The EU acknowledges the bravery of HRDs working in difficult situations all over the world and encourages them to continue doing their sterling work in the quest for a better society for all. The EU also strongly urges Governments and citizens alike to support the work done by HRDs. The EU wishes all Zimbabweans a happy Human Rights Day.

For more information:

Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of ZimbabweEU House, 1 Norfolk Road, Mt. Pleasant, P.O. Box MP 620 Mt. Pleasant, Harare Zimbabwe

Tel +263-4-338 158; 0772-568 980; Fax +263-4-338 165

E-mail address: [email protected]

Website: http://www.delzwe.ec.europa.eu/

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