On Tuesday 20 November 2018, a high level conference to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights took place at the European Parliament. Many leaders from international institutions who help shape the global interdependent world were present and shared their visions and ideals on a future world where the principles of human rights are genuinely accepted as universal and fundamental to peaceful coexistence of all Peoples. The Republic of Chameria President Festim Lato also attended this event.
The president of the European Parliament, Mr. Antonio Tajani and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union, Ms Federica Mogherini, opened the conference with introductory speeches about the role that the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights has played in the history of the EU. The Declaration was adopted on 10 December 1948 by the UN General Assembly and this treaty has set the standard for many of the world’s national, regional and international agreements as well as the constitutions of many States. The Declaration as a ‘standard of achievement’ also stands at the heart of the core values of the EU. Mr Tajani mentioned that the protection of the political, economic and social- and cultural rights within the framework of European cooperation is a central pillar of the work by the European Parliament and the other European institutions. Ms Mogherini also pointed out that the Declaration should be seen as a manifesto and that we always need to have a forward looking vision on how to improve our interconnected lives by finding new ways to improve the implementation of human rights in our international institutions.
The conference is part of the Human Rights Week (19 – 22 November 2018) that the European Parliament, in close cooperation with the European Commission and the European External Action Service, organises to bring together hundreds of civil society representatives, human rights defenders and international institutions in order to share experiences and extend and deepen the global network of all those who seek to promote the multilateral system which is based on the respect and protection of human rights.
Another important speaker was the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rigts, Ms Michelle Bachelet who provided an overview of the historical succes of the Declaration. Many countries have modelled parts of their constitution to the Declaration. Countries who have implemented the Declaration to a greater extent are usually better able to solve the many social issues that they face. The positive speech by Ms Bachelet also warned not to be complacent because despite the many successes there is still much work to be done.
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Ms Fatou Bensouda, was also present. In her speech the Prosecutor explained the genesis of the ICC and the role that the Rome Statute plays in holding individuals accountable for crimes that would otherwise go unpunished. The Prosecutor’s Office considers itself the motor behind the strengthening of international law and justice.
Many dignitaries and others were part of the debate during the day. The Republic of Chameria President Festim Lato was also an active participant and was able to inform several high ranking individuals of the plight of the Cham community. The president sees it as a vitally important task to increase his international network with representatives of institutions who are able to make a difference in the lives of the Cham. For example, the event also provided the opportunity to present a document on the human rights violations of the Cham to the EU Special Representative on Human Rights, Mr. Stavros Lambrinidis.
Prime-Minister Ali Aliu and Diplomat Jeroen Zandberg accompanied president Festim Lato at the conference.
Several links to the event: