A human rights panel was organized on December 9 in Eskişehir hosted by Anadolu University and with the participation of United Nations Turkey and Delegation of the European Union to Turkey.
The panel dwelled upon challenges and progress for making human rights a reality for all on the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration.
Human Rights are one of the core mandates of United Nations said Turkey Resident Coordinator Kamal Malhotra speaking at the opening of the Panel. They include promoting freedom of speech, saving child-soldiers from war lords, empowering women, protecting children from abuse, eliminating impunity, and creating a development strategy that puts human beings front and center stated Malhotra.
Several important steps have been taken in Turkey to enhance human rights laws and machinery said Malhotra and added “Together with the Government of Turkey, the United Nations system will continue to support the realization of political, economic, social and cultural rights through integrating human rights standards and principles in national development policies to fully comply with Turkey’s international human rights commitments.”
Women in Turkey also still lag behind in many aspects of life emphasized Malhotra and as a result, empowerment of women remains as one of the main areas UN agencies in Turkey continue to work on. “In Turkey, we will continue to work with the government, private sector, NGOs, youth like many of you, academia and media to combine forces to promote human rights for all” added the UN Resident Coordinator.
“Together, we have come a long way; let us continue this important work together in the years ahead, and create a world free from fear and want” said Malhotra as he ended his speech. (For full text of Mr. Malhotra’s speech click here)
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an agreement which increase and strengthen the values of humanity with all its dimensions” said Eskişehir Anadolu University Rector Prof. Davut Aydın.
“Education and scientific developments are critical for securing human rights and dignity. Universities are institutions which act with an understanding putting people in the center. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights summarizes all values which people share and will spread. It defines peaceful, just and more humane living conditions. Today human rights should be accepted as the mutual value of all humankind. It is the very important responsibility of science and scientists to strengthen this mutual value and to overcome challenges of implementation. Universities are the most powerful institutions which can implement this meaningful responsibility with humane sensitivity and be the leader for societies” stated Prof. Aydın.
Human Rights are one of the main topics discussed during partnership negotiations between European Union and Turkey said Stefano Fantaroni, First Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to Turkey. Fantoroni emphasized that the European Union’s human rights criteria is not only applicable to the countries which are going through the process of partnership negotiations but the member states have to abide by the criteria as well.
Assoc. Prof. Özgür Tonus facilitated the panel which started after the speeches during which Göktan Koçyıldırım informed participants regarding the human rights mechanisms in the UN system and UN’s human rights centered approach.
During the panel Fantaroni evaluated the human rights sections of the recent progress report of EU on Turkey.
Participating at the panel Prof. Nilgün Toker talked about the human rights developments of the last 65 years and emphasized that at the basis of human rights lays the right to be different.
The Panel concluded after the question and answer session.