Throughout 2018 the United Nations will organize globally events leading up to the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and here in Turkey UN will echo the global events and see the Turkish Grand National Assembly as a key partner in this endeavor stated Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Turkey.
“On 15 July 2016, the people of Turkey witnessed a tragic event, a coup attempt that claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians and left more than 2,000 people injured. I wish to express deep sympathy with the victims of the coup attempt and of victims of all terrorist attacks and would like to recall the stamen of the UN Secretary General during his visit to Turkey in February this year “to achieve peaceful societies especially after the tragic events the indiscriminate application of the rule of law is the key to a peaceful and prosperous society”.” said Vojáčková-Sollorano at the Human Rights high level panel titled “Lead up to the 70th Anniversary of Adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Rights” organized by the UN in Turkey and Turkish Grand National Assembly (T.B.M.M.) Human Rights Inquiry Commission, in recognition of the international day of human rights.
At her opening speech at the event that took place at the Ceremonial Hall of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Vojáčková-Sollorano said that when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted as response to the atrocities that attached all human dignity there was slavery, there was apartheid, there was wide application of the death penalty and stark gender inequality.
“Since then we the global society have achieved a lot to eradicate this abuse of power and disregard to human rights. Slavery has been abolished, however we have modern forms of slavery. Apartheid has been abolished but racism continue divide the societies. Woman have now the right to vote but cannot decide about their course of life and suffer abuse and some countries are going back to discussing the reintroduction of the death penalty we should together advocate for a moratorium as 160 Members States of the United Nations do” continued Vojáčková-Sollorano.
“These are all signs that our achievements are being slowly eroded. Therefore, we shall jointly work to make this important document “the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” our joint guide as its implementation is as relevant as it was at its adoption in 1948” added the Resident Coordinator.
The Human Rights Video Message of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was shown during the panel. Moreover, Gianni Magazzeni Chief of Universal Periodic Review at the UN Office of the Human Rights High Comissioner sent a video message to the event on importance of Universal Periodic Review Reporting.
The recommendations from relevant UN mechanisms on human rights are of key importance stated Magazzeni at his video message. He also emphasized that the sinergy between development and human rights programs can contribute solving many world challenges.
President of the TBMM Human Rights İnquiry Commission Ömer Serdar said Turkey accepted the UDHR in 1949 and developed policies in accordance with the Declaration. Serdar emphasized that there has been very important reforms in human rights and democratization in Turkey.
After the opening speeches UN Resident Coordinator Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano presented a poster of the UDHR to Serdar.
Following the break the panel discussion continued chaired by Deputy President of the Human Rİghts Inquiry Commission Ms. Fatma Benli.
Ms. Shelley Inglis United Nations Development Programme Regional Cluster Leader of Governance and Peacebuilding for Europe and CIS talked about how human rights evolved in the world during the panel.
Member states adopted several conventions for better protection of human rights and established universal periodic review mechanisms stated Inglis.