Speech by Mr. Régis de Belenet on the occasion of International Human Rights Day
International Human Right Day, Seminar organised by the Pakistan Muslim League (Presided by the Secretary General of PML, Mr. Mushahid Hussain Syed)
“Mr Secretary General
Ladies and gentlemen
Thank you for this invitation to participate in your seminar to mark the international human rights day.
i. I appreciate your invitation because my country, France, for a very long time and with the accidents of history naturally, but for a very long time, has been passionate about human rights, having concern for human beings and their dignity.
France was one of the first nations to draft a declaration proclaiming human rights, the ‘declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen" of august 26th 1789.
In 1948, the universal declaration of human was adopted in Paris, where the un general assembly of the united nations met.
A great French jurist, Rene Cassin, was one of the key architects of the declaration and the first chairman of the UN commission on human rights.
ii. We know the struggle for human rights is difficult, because it entails an ongoing tension between unity and diversity, between affirmation of that which is universal and the respect of uniqueness. But, we know also, a denial of human rights means accepting that which is irreparable.
Useless to say, when we say "human rights ", we consider also, of course , "women rights”, because "women rights are human rights ", as the banners are telling, very rightly.
iii. Promoting and protecting all human rights are a legitimate concern for the international community. In this spirit, we value the dialogue the European union members states’ representatives in Pakistan have with the Government of Pakistan on the issue of human rights, including the dialogue on very specific points.
We share the view that ensuring human rights for all, is a necessary step in furthering President Musharraf’s policy of" enlightened moderation".
iv. Another point, I’d like to underline is the great deal of importance we attach to the normative work conducted by the united nations;
- We are a party to almost all of the treaties promoting and protecting human rights drafted by the United Nations and we call for their universal ratification
- We consider the dialogue between the countries and the independent experts committees charged with ensuring compliance with these international instruments to be very fruitful
- We work for the strengthening of the normative structures; right now, a legally binding instrument on "forced disappearances" has been prepared. The negociations, presided by France, led to the adoption of a draft Convention, which will be presented in March 2006 to the members of the UNGA human rights committee for approval. A signing ceremony will then be held in Paris. We hope, Pakistan will decide to take part.
Thank you for your attention./."
Régis De Belenet
Ambassador of France to Pakistan