9 December 2012

Uganda: EU Revels in Nobel Prize Win On Human Rights Day

The European Union (EU) tomorrow marks the Human Rights day with particular excitement, after the organisation won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

It was in recognition of its work on reconciliation, democracy and the promotion of human rights, which helped extend the area of peace and stability across the continent.

"It is fitting that the presentation of this prestigious prize comes on the day of the celebration of human rights. "Today[tomorrow], on 10 December, we celebrate Human Rights day. Standing up for human rights, democracy and the rule of law is the silver thread that runs through EU external relations," said a news release from the EU.

The theme of this year's Human Rights day is inclusion and the right to participate in public life. It is a particularly timely theme in light of recent transitions to democracy and resistance to dictatorial leadership. The EU statement, however, warns that holding elections can only be a first step towards real democracy in which human rights take root. The key must respect for human rights.

Speaking to The Observer, at the weekend, Roberto Ridolfi, the EU head of delegation, said: "The day will be commemorated by giving the Nobel peace prize to the European Union. We are happy to receive the prize because Europe has used peace as the driving force for integration."

He said that the EU would continue to assist Africa, and specifically East Africa, to foster peace, stability, prosperity and integration. Commenting about Uganda's human rights record, Ridolfi said: "There is still some work to be done for example the right to food, water and employment."

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