Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry delivers a speech virtually at the UN Human Rights Council's 49th Session. Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
In a recorded speech addressed to the high-level segment of the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Shoukry said the session comes at a time when Egypt has achieved many developments related to the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
This took place by achieving a real partnership with civil society with the aim of establishing a “new republic” that upholds the values of democracy, the principles of human rights and the rule of law, Shoukry added.
In this new republic, everyone enjoys their basic rights and freedoms without discrimination, he added, citing the launching of the national strategy for human rights under the sponsorship of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
Shoukry highlighted another “great development,” which is the recent establishment of many civil society associations in Egypt.
Shoukry said El-Sisi's declaration of 2022 as the year of civil society is an indication of the importance the Egyptian state attaches to civil society as an essential partner in the development process.
He also referred to a request by the government to the parliament to extend the deadline granted to civil society organisations to settle their situations.
Shoukry also said the legal situation has been settled for more than 2,162 churches and religious services buildings, and that 74 new churches have been built under the law regulating the construction and restoration of churches.
The top Egyptian diplomat also referred to the achievements made to empower women and protect them from discrimination and crimes of violence and harassment.
He shed light on Egypt Vision 2030, which aims to secure decent housing, upgrade infrastructure, develop water, road, electricity and sewage networks, improve health and education mechanisms, and offer essential social services.
Egypt Vision 2030 also aims to empower citizens economically without any discrimination by launching many national initiatives like Decent Life and 100 Million Healthy Lives.
Promoting human rights is a continuous process and no country can claim that it has achieved perfection in this regard, he said, making it clear that there is no unified pattern that every country can follow, but rather each country sets its priorities and determines the challenges it faces according to its own circumstances.
He noted that any multilateral action should be based on consensus and dialogue while avoiding politicisation, selectivity and attempts to impose controversial visions and concepts that hamper human rights and impede achieving desired goals.
Shoukry called for handling human rights issues with utmost caution and staying away from incorrect information and reports that are circulated with the aim of achieving certain goals that have nothing to do with the promotion of human rights.
He expressed hope that the UN Human Rights Council would play its role in assisting states to ensure that their citizens enjoy all basic human rights without any discrimination, consolidate tolerance and peaceful coexistence, discard discrimination, racism and hatred speech, and respect the privacy and religious and cultural differences of societies.