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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Human rights must be pursued with determination everywhere

Human rights must be pursued with determination everywhere

Strasbourg, 16/11/10 – Yesterday in New York, at their third meeting this autumn, Council of Europe Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland and United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon recognised the ongoing and pressing need for close cooperation between the two organisations.

“Human rights are indivisible – we have to make sure that our member countries continue to take their obligations seriously,” Secretary General Jagland said. “The UN and the Council of Europe are complementary bodies, with key legal texts, monitoring and complaints mechanisms at their disposal. We must make better use of these instruments in defence of human rights everywhere,” he said.

Both leaders confirmed the importance and universal application of the Council of Europe’s convention on cybercrime, as the only existing legal instrument in the field.

Regretting the recent rise in intolerance towards Roma in Europe, Jagland and Ban Ki-moon expressed full support for the measures detailed in the Strasbourg Declaration. Continued return of Roma people to Kosovo should be avoided in view of the unacceptable conditions faced by many there.

Secretary General Jagland reiterated the Council of Europe’s unequivoqual support for abolition of the death penalty.

Concluding their meeting, Jagland and Ban Ki-moon warmly welcomed the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, but also underlined the need for the release to be real and unconditional.

During his visit to the US, Secretary General Jagland will also meet with UN General Assembly President Joseph Deiss and UN Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information Kiyotaka Akasaka, as well as with representatives of the international non-governmental organisations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Comment: Since the Lisbon Treaty and Protocol 14 the Council of Europe and European Union have come together on the issue of human rights with the idea of human rights being made the subject of higher law in Member States. Now with the UN coming together with the CoE and EU, the UK will now have to toe the line and ensure that its citizens get their human rights. This includes all prisoners getting the human right to vote in spite of Kenneth Clarke's statement to the JCHR that he did not intend giving murderers, rapists and paedophiles their human right to vote.

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