Human rights represent universal, integrated values, and must be dealt with comprehensively: Egypt's FM Shoukry

Amr Kandil , Saturday 11 Sep 2021

Shoukry made his remarks during the launch by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of the National Strategy for Human Rights at an event in the New Administrative Capital

Sameh Shoukry

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Saturday the state has prepared its new human rights strategy through a scientific and consultative approaches that included expanded community dialogue and discussions involving the National Council for Human Rights, parliament, and civil society organizations.

"Human rights constitute universal, integrated and interdependent values, and therefore must be dealt with comprehensively, and in a fair and equal manner," Shoukry said during the launch by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt's National Strategy for Human Rights at an event in the New Administrative Capital.

The state aims to develop a comprehensive approach to human rights as an integral part of implementing the country's national development project,  presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement on Saturday.

The strategy is the "first comprehensive and long-term homegrown plan in the human rights field in Egypt," Rady said.

The event was attended by a number of ministers, state officials and representatives of human rights and civil society groups.

Shoukry added that "over the course of a year, the state has studied human rights recommendations put forth by Egypt's National Council for Human Rights and coordinated with more than 30 ministries and bodies to assess the requirements of their implementation."

He explained that Egypt has assessed the final recommendations issued by regional and international human rights mechanisms and studied the human rights strategies of more than 30 countries.

The strategy spans five years and is based on four main axes: the civilian and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; rights of women, children, disabled people, youth and the elderly; and education and capacity building in the human rights field.

Shoukry added that the state aims to achieve progress in these four axes in a balanced way through the legislative and institutional development.

Shoukry noted that human rights should also not ignore national and regional particularities as well as religious and cultural backgrounds.

"What is reasonable and prevalent in one society is not necessarily acceptable in other societies," Shoukry said, affirming that "recognizing and respecting this diversity and specificity is an added value and an activation of human rights."

The Supreme Permanent Committee for Human Rights, which is chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, prepared the strategy, Shoukry said.

The permanent committee was established in 2018 as per a decree by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to manage the human rights file in Egypt under the foreign ministry.

The establishment of the committee constitutes an "important addition to the institutional structure supporting human rights," Shoukry stressed.

The committee establishment also "reflects the firm political determination to translate all constitutional obligations and regional and international conventions' commitments into a tangible reality."

It also confirms the government’s keenness to implement human rights as a pivotal component in line with the country's 2030 Vision strategy, Shoukry added.

The country's top diplomat said developing the human rights situation is a "continuous and cumulative process that begins with the commitment of state institutions to their duties towards their citizens to uphold their dignity and safeguard their rights."

"We have a sincere determination to uphold the dignity of the Egyptian citizens and guarantee equal opportunities," Shoukry stated.

He also explained that the protection of human rights constitutes a governmental policy and goal and is backed by an "independent and impartial judiciary that acts as a guarantor of the rule of law and the protection of rights."

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