Kinshasa — Maman S. Sidikou, Head of MONUSCO, and José Maria Aranaz, Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, pay tribute to all human rights defenders in the Democratic Republic of Congo
«This Day gives us the opportunity to pay a vibrant tribute to all those wo are working for the promotion and protection of human rights in the DRC and to commend the efforts of the Government aimed at putting an end to impunity through the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission. This important instrument will contribute to ensuring that all citizens can freely enjoy their fundamental rights, free from any repression or injustice," stated Maman S. Sidikou, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Human Rights Day, celebrated this year on the theme "Our Rights, our freedoms, always", is an opportunity to call for the end of intolerance, for adherence to the ideal of universalism as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to encourage governments around the world to favour dialogue and consultation. This sense of dialogue and consultation, which is a much-cherished African virtue, is also an important factor in creating the conditions for an inclusive process for the respect for and protection of fundamental rights and freedoms, towards the different electoral events looming on the horizon.
« Liberty and equality are the landmarks of democracy and can only be ensured if human rights activists are allowed to fully exercise their responsibilities without fear or obstruction to their activities. We hope that this already established Commission will become a central institution in promoting and protecting human rights in the DRC. The persistence of a certain number of challenges relating to the protection of freedom of expression and human security reminds the international community of the urgent need to work hand in hand with the Government in order to create the conditions for expanding the political space which is the key to a peaceful democracy in the DRC," stated José Maria Aranaz, Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Notes to the Editors
- The International Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10 December of each year to mark the anniversary of the adoption by the General Assembly and the proclamation on 10 December 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- The formal establishment of this day occurred at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on 4 December 1950, when the General Assembly when the General Assembly declared resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.